Gounardes: Golden should lose job, driver’s license

He’s at the end of the road.

State Sen. Marty Golden (R–Bay Ridge) should have his driver’s license revoked, according to his Democratic challenger, Andrew Gounardes, in his inaugural appearance on Brooklyn Paper Radio on Oct. 19.

The state Senate hopeful said Golden’s history of reckless driving — which includes racking up 18 parking and speeding violations within the past two years — proves that the beleaguered pol should never again be allowed behind the wheel.

“[His driver’s license] absolutely should be revoked — that is not safe driving and that is not a great example to be setting for your constituents at all,” Gounardes said. “That’s a danger to our community — anyone who has a driving record like that, the length of a CVS receipt, should have their licenses suspended and removed.”

Gounardes, a born-and-bred Ridgite, insisted that he received his one and only speeding ticket more than a decade ago, as a naïve youngster careening down the Gowanus Expressway.

“I was going towards the Verrazzano Bridge and I got caught taking a turn too fast,” Gounardes said. “I was 21-years-old — I thought I was invincible.”

Gounardes will face off against Golden on Nov. 6 to represent the 22nd District, which encompasses Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach, Gravesend, and parts of Sheepshead Bay, Borough Park, and Midwood.

Gounardes ran against Golden in 2012 and lost by a 16-percent margin — or about 10,300 votes — but the candidate said he’s confident that he stands a better chance this time around because he has more political experience under his belt, and has cultivated more support in the community than he had before his first campaign.

Gounardes currently works as Counsel to Borough President Eric Adams, and formerly worked as an aide to former councilman Vincent Gentile and U.S. Sen. Bob Mendendez (D—New Jersey) who was charged in 2015 for an alleged pay-to-play scam. Menendez beat the charges last year in a mistrial, but Gounardes still scrubbed his D.C. work for the Senator from his bio — a decision he chalked up to the fact that he’s focused on campaigning for a job in Albany, not Washington.

“Things change in bios — it’s really about condensing and finding the things that are most pertinent and most relevant to the job at hand,” Gounardes said. “In high school, I was the mascot — that’s not in my bio either,” he said.

If elected, Gounardes would earn nearly $35,000 less than his current salary as an attorney in Borough President Adams’s office, but the candidate said he doesn’t care that he’d be taking a pay cut, adding that he’d make his Albany post a full-time job.

“I have no plans other than to be a state Senator — that’s what I owe my constituents,” he said. “I’m not in this to make a salary. I’m in this to make a difference in the lives of my neighbors.”

And he said he’d be busy writing bills and moving them through the chamber, which he said he’d prioritize over the community events — such as summer concerts, Easter egg hunts, and Christmas tree lightings — that Golden sponsors.

“I’ve been to the concerts — the concerts are great,” Gounardes said. “But what we need is people who go up to Albany and actually have a legislative record that’s going to help their communities — anything on top of that is gravy.”

Gounardes has picked up some high-profile endorsements, such as Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s nod on Oct. 2, but perhaps none more so than actor-activist Alyssa Milano.

Though in her tweeted endorsement the “Charmed” star called Golden her “hometown State Senator,” Brooklyn Paper editor-in-chief — and Staten Island resident — Vince DiMiceli insisted on setting the record straight, on-air, that the precocious moppet from “Who’s the Boss” is actually from Staten Island, not Kings County.

“Listen, she’s from Staten Island,” DiMiceli said on the show. “She likes to say she’s from Brooklyn, but she’s from Staten Island — we’ve done the research on this.”

But Gounardes was quick to jump to defense of his would-be (maybe) constituent, insisting that she’s from Bensonhurst and demanding DiMiceli provide proof of his slanderous claims.

“Have you found her birth certificate?” Gounardes asked. “Are we back to the birther era now?”

DiMiceli said that the only way to find the truth would be to have Milano on the Brooklyn Paper Radio show — especially since one of her early co-stars made an appearance on the show back in 2016.

“We’ve had Tony Danza on the show, so it’d be nice to complete that circle and have Alyssa Milano on too,” DiMiceli said.

Alyssa, the offer still stands: you have a standing invite to appear on your purported hometown paper’s radio show — preferably before Nov. 6.

State Sen. Golden had also accepted and invitation for an interview with the Brooklyn Paper and its sister publications, but his spokeswoman abruptly cancelled the interview without explanation, the day before the interview was scheduled to take place.

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at jmcshane@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.