Vote: Who’s got the best beard in Albany?

Who will win the Albany beard wars?
Who will win the Albany beard wars?
Wangkun Jia/Shutterstock
Who will win the Albany beard wars?

Vote: Who’s got the best beard in Albany?

Seven well-groomed lawmakers. Only one will make the cut.
March 16, 2020

Gone are the days when most male state legislators had facial hair, but a few dozen hirsute holdouts still roam the floors of the state Capitol.

Some define their visage with a little stubble. Others indulge their pogonophilia more luxuriously. City & State is calling on its beloved readers to do as the Brits do with members of Parliament each year. Read the nominations, weigh the options, and decide who among this bewhiskered bunch has the mane to rule them all.

State Sen. Fred Akshar

Akshar 2020 Headshot courtesy of New York State Senate.jpg

State Sen. Fred Akshar
Alt Text: 
State Sen. Fred Akshar
Title Text: 
State Sen. Fred Akshar
Caption: 
State Sen. Fred Akshar
Description: 
State Sen. Fred Akshar
Image Credit: 
New York State Senate

Salt and pepper spice up the ever changing facial hair of this Broome County Republican. Full bearded one year and baby-faced the next, with a close cut in between. 

Assemblyman Michael Blake

Michael Blake - Michael Blake for Public Advocate.jpg

Assemblyman Michael Blake
Alt Text: 
Assemblyman Michael Blake
Title Text: 
Assemblyman Michael Blake
Caption: 
Assemblyman Michael Blake
Description: 
Assemblyman Michael Blake
Image Credit: 
Michael Blake for Public Advocate

Clean shaves are for the top of this Bronx lawmaker’s head. Who needs hair when you’ve got a goatee game like this?

Assemblyman Harry Bronson 

Bronson Photo0319.jpg

Assemblyman Harry Bronson
Alt Text: 
Assemblyman Harry Bronson
Title Text: 
Assemblyman Harry Bronson
Caption: 
Assemblyman Harry Bronson
Description: 
Assemblyman Harry Bronson
Image Credit: 
New York State Assembly

His pointed goatee helps the Rochester Democrat stick out among the competition. Nuff said.

Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein

Simcha Eichenstein headshot photo by Assembly Majority Photography Services.jpg

Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein
Alt Text: 
Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein
Title Text: 
Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein
Caption: 
Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein
Description: 
Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein
Image Credit: 
Assembly Majority Photography Services

This list ain’t big enough for two bearded Brooklyn Democrats with the same first name. Since Eichenstein has a more defined color and adds a millennial twist to an Orthodox look, we’re placing him on the ballot. Better luck next time, Sen. Felder!

Assemblyman Richard Gottfried

RichardGottfried-NYSAssembly.jpg

Richard Gottfried
Alt Text: 
Richard Gottfried
Title Text: 
Richard Gottfried
Caption: 
Richard Gottfried
Description: 
Richard Gottfried
Image Credit: 
New York State Assembly

The longest-tenured legislative facial hair in state history began growing out in the summer of ’73 while the Manhattan Democrat was studying for his bar exam. Now, he’s an inspiration to every blond 20-something who dreams of spending the next half-century in Albany.

State Sen. José M. Serrano 

jose serrano higher quality.jpg

State Sen. José M. Serrano
Alt Text: 
State Sen. José M. Serrano
Title Text: 
State Sen. José M. Serrano
Caption: 
State Sen. José M. Serrano
Description: 
State Sen. José M. Serrano
Image Credit: 
New York State Senate

He wears bowties and combs his hair high and back. A carefully crafted goatee completes a polished look for legislating in the leather-lined Senate chamber.

State Sen. Kevin Thomas 

Kevin Thomas headshot credit New York State Senate.jpg

State Sen. Kevin Thomas
Alt Text: 
State Sen. Kevin Thomas
Title Text: 
State Sen. Kevin Thomas
Caption: 
State Sen. Kevin Thomas
Description: 
State Sen. Kevin Thomas
Image Credit: 
New York State Senate

Full-bodied with a hint of gray, it’s easy with a beard like this for the freshman Long Island Democrat to pass as a more senior lawmaker.

VOTE HERE

Zach Williams
is a staff reporter at City & State.
20200602