Jul. 24, 2023 By Carlotta Mohamed
Gov. Kathy Hochul on July 24 announced that a special election will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 12, to fill the vacant Assembly District 27 seat previously held by Assemblyman Daniel Rosenthal who resigned in June.
As Hochul is currently out of New York state, Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado issued the proclamation pursuant to the New York State Constitution.
“With Daniel Rosenthal’s departure from the Assembly, a special election to ensure representation for the 27th District will be held in September,” Hochul said. “I’m grateful for Daniel’s service to New York state as he embarks on a new journey, and I look forward to working with the next representative to deliver for New York.”
Rosenthal, who was a Democratic member of the state Assembly, announced his resignation from office in June to begin a new role as vice president for Government Relations for the UJA-Federation of NY, the largest philanthropy organization in the world.
For the past six years, he represented a heavily-Jewish community in Central Queens. Assembly District 27 includes the neighborhoods of Pomonok, Electchester, Kew Gardens Hills, College Point and Whitestone.
With the vacant Assembly seat open, Democratic contender Sam Berger, 25, a local resident and graduate of St. John’s Law, declared his candidacy for the special election in a statement released on Monday, July 24.
“I was born and raised here, and now, I am raising two little girls of my own here,” Berger said in a statement. “I have witnessed firsthand the unique challenges and specific issues that our district faces. I understand what our community wants, and more importantly, what it needs. We all share a common goal: to ensure the safety and welfare of our homes, schools, streets, and families.”
If elected to office, Berger pledged to be a “relentless advocate, tirelessly working to address the issues” that matter most to constituents. His vision for District 27 centers around education, public safety, and affordability.
“As your representative, I will introduce legislation aimed at enhancing the well-being and quality of life in our neighborhoods. Together, we can build a brighter future for our community,” Berger said.
According to Berger, he is deeply ingrained in the fabric of the community and has professional experience with the Queens County Supreme Court. He was inspired by his family’s long history of civic engagement in the district. Berger’s father serves as the president of a local elementary school, and his mother, who is a teacher, is a district leader of the Queens Democratic party.
Like Rosenthal, Berger is an orthodox Jew and would become the Assembly’s youngest member. Rosenthal became the Assembly’s youngest member at the age of 26, when he was first elected in 2017, also in a special election, replacing Michael Simanowitz who died from an undisclosed illness at age 46.