Myrie campaign ad attacks ex-IDC Hamilton’s real estate ties

Zellnor Myrie Campaign video still
Zellnor Myrie Campaign video still
Zellnor Myrie campaign video still

Myrie campaign ad attacks ex-IDC Hamilton’s real estate ties

Democratic primary bid still faces uphill battle.
July 5, 2018

State Senate candidate Zellnor Myrie is out with his first campaign video, and in it he accuses his rival, state Sen. Jesse Hamilton, of being in the pocket of real estate developers. Myrie is challenging Hamilton in the Democratic primary for state Senate District 20, in Central Brooklyn.

“We have a state senator that has received tens of thousands of dollars from the real estate industry,” Myrie says in the one-and-a-half minute video, over footage of Hamilton speaking on the Senate floor. “What we’re up against is a very powerful real estate lobby.”

Hamilton was a member of the Independent Democratic Conference, which had controversially partnered with state Senate Republicans, before it was dissolved in April. He has received at least $60,000 in campaign donations from real estate interests since first running for Senate in 2014. That includes at least $10,000 this cycle from the Real Estate Board of New York’s political action committee.

In the video, Myrie says that affordable housing is a personal issue for him.

“I’ve had to go to housing court with my mother because the landlord has taken her to court because she’s in a rent-stabilized apartment,” he says.

Myrie was previously a lawyer at white shoe law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell and grew up in Brooklyn’s Prospect-Lefferts Gardens neighborhood. His campaign said it will be running the ad on social media ahead of the Sept. 13 primary.

Myrie has earned endorsements from New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and the progressive group New York Communities for Change, but seems to face an uphill battle against Hamilton, who earned the endorsement of influential union 1199SEIU on Thursday. Latest fundraising totals are due in just over a week, but at the last filing deadline in January, Myrie trailed Hamilton in cash on hand, with $88,000 to Hamilton’s $120,000.

Jeff Coltin
is a senior reporter at City & State. He covers New York City Hall.