Andrew Gounardes first ran against Republican Senator Marty Golden in 2012, where he received 41% of the vote. Golden was a longtime incumbent who was popular with many Republicans and even older Democrats because of his prior service as a policeman. But with many new young voters moving into the district, Parkside believed Gounardes had a chance to unseat Golden in 2018.
Parkside formed an effective contrast between Gounardes’ idea-driven campaign and Golden’s corruption and indifference to issues that were important to many voters in his district. By targeting younger and minority voters that Golden ignored and by highlighting Gounardes’ commitment to speed cameras in school zones (while pointing to Golden’s own history of speeding tickets), Parkside made Gounardes the candidate of the future for central Brooklyn.
In a district that Donald Trump won just two years prior, Gournades was able to unseat Golden by dramatically over-performing among younger voters who leaned heavily Democratic. Parkside’s focus on increasing Gounardes’ support and turnout in diverse areas was critical to overcoming Golden’s cross-party support among many longtime residents.