Aug. 15, 2022 By Christian Murray
Astoria resident and left-wing candidate Nomiki Konst has dropped out of the race to represent Senate District 59 and has endorsed a fellow progressive.
Konst announced Saturday that she has exited the race to represent the district and has endorsed the DSA-backed candidate Kristen Gonzalez.
The newly-formed district covers western Queens, north Brooklyn and parts of Manhattan
Konst attributed her decision to drop out to not having enough campaign cash to compete—citing the influx of real estate money being spent on the race.
The endorsement came as a surprise, since Konst and Gonzalez had been in a war of words for much of the campaign.
Gonzalez had leveled claims that Konst is racist, while Konst had accused Gonzalez’s campaign of harassment and intimidation.
The animus between the two campaigns began the moment that Konst announced on June 1 that she planned to run since some viewed Konst as a spoiler candidate.
Gonzalez, a Long Island City resident, had already gained the support of most of the big names in progressive circles prior to Konst announcing her run. Gonzalez had been backed by the DSA, the Working Families Party, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and a plethora of left-wing elected officials.
The endorsement, however, unites the progressives as they aim to take on Elizabeth Crowley, a well-funded moderate with name recognition, and Mike Corbett. Crowley has the backing of Mayor Eric Adams, Council Speaker Adrienne Adams as well as congressmembers Ritchie Torres and Gregory Meeks.
“This three-month long campaign has become one of the most expensive primaries in New York State history—and in light of the overwhelming amount of money being spent in this campaign, particular by real estate interests, I have made the decision to suspend our campaign at this time and endorse Kristen Gonzalez…” Konst said.
Gonzalez views the endorsement as cementing her place as the front runner. She says she is now the sole progressive in a race against “real estate backed Crowley.”
Gonzalez has criticized Crowley for taking funds from registered Republicans as well as from real estate developers. The City reported last month that Crowley’s campaign had received at least $80,000 from registered Republicans, lobbyists, and people in the real estate industry.
“I’m grateful for Nomiki’s endorsement at this critical moment,” Gonzalez said in a statement. “We must come together to defeat developers and big corporations, and we’re looking forward to uniting the progressive movement to defeat special interests next week.”
The election is scheduled for Aug. 23. Early voting began Saturday, Aug. 13.