Nearly seven months after the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club hosted the first mayoral forum of the election cycle, the club endorsed Dianne Morales for mayor and out gay Speaker Corey Johnson for comptroller.
The club, which announced a batch of endorsements on May 4, also endorsed Public Advocate Jumaane Williams for re-election and Tahanie Aboushi for Manhattan district attorney.
Jim Owles is the first citywide LGBTQ political club to back Morales, who has built a visible base of queer support during her campaign. She has welcomed endorsements from LGBTQ leaders at different levels, from lawmakers such as Brooklyn State Senator Jabari Brisport and Queens Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas to district leaders like Jesse Pierce and Samy Nemir-Olivares of Brooklyn, Émilia Decaudin and Zachariah Boyer of Queens, and John Blasco of Manhattan.
During the Jim Owles forum last year, Morales voiced strong support for comprehensive sex work decriminalization and blasted supporters of the oft-criticized Nordic Model, which would only remove criminal penalties for sex workers but not others involved in the sex trade.
“Morales clearly has the leadership qualities and savvy needed to lead our city out of crisis and into a vibrant future,” club president Allen Roskoff said in a written statement. “She sees eye to eye with our club on issues of concern to us, and we are eager to help elect her so that she can work on behalf of all of the city’s diverse communities.”
In a tweet, Morales wrote, “From fighting for LGBTQ+ equality to hosting the first mayoral forum for this race, @JimOwles members are true trailblazers — I’m honored to receive their endorsement and expand this coalition. I am proud to stand with the @JimOwles Liberal Democratic Club members and President @allenroskoff for comprehensive sex work decriminalization, restaurant and nightlife protections, just decarceration, and for a care economy for all New Yorkers.”
The club’s mayoral endorsement comes at a time when two other LGBTQ political clubs — the Stonewall Democratic Club of New York City and Lambda Independent Democrats of Brooklyn (LID) — are reconsidering their support of mayoral candidate Scott Stringer following allegations of sexual misconduct. Stonewall will reconvene on May 5 to determine a path forward for the club’s endorsement, while LID will meet on May 6 to do the same.
Johnson, meanwhile, received the club’s support for comptroller after Stonewall and LID opted to go with Brooklyn Councilmember Brad Lander in the comptroller race. Johnson, a former mayoral candidate, officially stepped into the comptroller race in March.
“Speaker Johnson dazzled us with his acumen and detailed knowledge about important policy matters of concern to club members,” Roskoff said. “He has done a spectacular job as Council Speaker, and we could not be prouder to embrace one of our own with this endorsement.”
In a tweet, Johnson said he is “so proud to have earned their support in this campaign.”
In the crowded race for Manhattan DA, the club acknowledged that multiple candidates in the race were worthy of consideration.
“There were several other strong progressive candidates who would be effective District Attorneys for Manhattan, but Aboushi won our support over her competitors,” Roskoff noted. “She is an inspiring leader who would transform the district attorney’s office into a dynamic force for systemic change. She would prioritize alternatives to incarceration rather than pursue a single-minded focus on prosecution.”
During the mayoral forum hosted by the Jim Owles club last year, Roskoff asked candidates whether they would support scrapping former Mayor Ed Koch’s name from the 59th Street Bridge. He again emphasized that point in a press release announcing the latest endorsements.
“The club continues to encourage all candidates we meet to support removing the name of former Mayor Ed Koch from the 59th Street Bridge,” Roskoff said. “Practically everyone we have interviewed shared our view that this honor is unmerited for a Mayor who stood idly by while the AIDS holocaust devastated gay New Yorkers and other marginalized communities, and who routinely ignored and insulted the city’s people of color. Of those we interviewed or who responded to our questionnaire for mayor, comptroller, public advocate and district attorney, all supported the removing Ed Koch’s name from the 59th St. Bridge. Andrew Yang is open to removing his name and pledges to work with advocates on the removal. Scott Stringer is the sole candidate against it.”
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