Rev. Calvin O. Butts III and State Sen. Brian Benjamin (305212)
Credit: Photo courtesy of Brian Benjamin

New York City Comptroller candidate State Sen. Brian Benjamin receives a major endorsement from Rev. Calvin O. Butts III. The senior pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church, one of the city’s largest Black churches, says Benjamin’s track record with affordable housing, job creation and schools makes him the right person for the job.

“Brian Benjamin is the only candidate in the race who can bring real leadership to the Office of the Comptroller,” Butts said in a statement. “Brian has been an advocate for affordable housing throughout his public and private career, working to provide sustainable, equitable housing for formerly homeless individuals and families.”

Butts added that he’s seen first-hand the dedication Benjamin brings to his work as a politician. He highlighted Benjamin’s former work as an affordable housing developer and investment manager.

“It’s an honor to have the support of Rev. Calvin Butts III. Rev. Butts has been a fighter for Harlem, and a fighter for the most vulnerable New Yorkers for decades, working to build affordable housing and bring opportunity to New York City’s minority communities,” said Benjamin. “As a fellow son of Harlem, I will put my experience to work for the people of this great city, using the office of the comptroller to create real change.”

Butts is the latest of several endorsements Benjamin has received in the past few weeks, including former New York City Comptroller and Sen. John Liu, activist Tamika Mallory, Assemblymember Catalina Cruz, Sen. James Sanders Jr., and Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner.

Benjamin has also secured the support of the several Black political leaders, including former Gov. David Paterson, former State Comptroller H. Carl McCall, and NAACP New York State Conference President Hazel Dukes.

Last month, Benjamin received the endorsement of former Harlem Congressman Charlie Rangel.

“Senator Brian Benjamin is the most qualified candidate to be the next comptroller and I am proud to support him in this race,” said Rangel. “I have contributed to his campaign and I look forward to his leadership.”

Elected to the New York State Senate in 2017, Benjamin represents that state’s 30th District in Harlem and a portion of the Upper East Side. He also serves as senior assistant majority leader of the Senate.

Prior to being elected, Benjamin led a minority-owned affordable housing development company, which financed the construction and rehabilitation of over 1,000 units of affordable housing, including housing for the homeless.

In 2008, Benjamin co-founded “Harlem4Obama” and hosted a fundraiser for former President Barack Obama. In 2012, Benjamin was an Obama delegate to the Democratic National Convention during his re-election.

Benjamin faces a crowded field in the race to be the Democratic nominee for city comptroller. His opponents include City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, City Council Member Brad Lander, State Sen. Kevin Parker, State Assemblyman David Weprin, CNBC reporter Michelle Caruso-Cabrera and entrepreneur Zach Iscol.

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