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Actor Kal Penn Endorses Jimmy Van Bramer for Queens Borough President

Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer and actor Kal Penn (Jimmy Van Bramer for Queens Borough President)

Jan. 26, 2021 By Allie Griffin

Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer earned an endorsement from Hollywood today.

Van Bramer was endorsed by actor Kal Penn, who starred in NBC’s short-lived show “Sunnyside,” for Queens Borough President Tuesday.

Penn played a disgraced former council member whose district included Sunnyside — the same neighborhood represented by Van Bramer in the council — on the show. The show was pulled from the air after just four episodes, with the remainder of the season available to stream online.

The actor, who also worked as a White House staff member under President Barack Obama, said he has been impressed by Van Bramer’s record of helping Queens residents.

“Jimmy’s care for his constituents has stood out in my mind since meeting him,” Penn said in a statement. “He has a strong, progressive record of protecting working families and community businesses, and has been impressively inclusive and forward-thinking.”

He said Van Bramer will help the borough recover from the pandemic.

“Given the health and economic hardships facing our fellow New Yorkers, I’m especially excited to support the candidacy of someone as experienced, tough, and caring as Jimmy,” Penn said.

It’s Penn’s second time endorsing Van Bramer for Queens Borough President.

He gave Van Bramer his stamp of approval in January of last year when a special election was scheduled to replace former Borough President Melinda Katz. Katz vacated her seat to take over as Queens District Attorney.

Van Bramer dropped out of the race later that month, citing family reasons, and the election was ultimately won by Donovan Richards. Richards will serve as borough president through the end of the year — to complete Katz’s term.

Richards and Van Bramer will once again face off — this time for a full four-year term. A primary for Queens Borough President will be held in June, followed by a general election in November.

According to the New York City Campaign Finance BoardDanniel Maio, a mapmaker from Forest Hills; Stan Morse, tenant organizer with the Justice for All Coalition; and Diana Sanchez have also filed candidate certifications for the BP seat.

Former Council Member Elizabeth Crowley, who came in second to Richards in the June 2020 primary, is also mulling another run.

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