Staten Island Advance
Updated on August 10, 2017 at 3:57 PM


PBA endorses Kamillah Hanks in North Shore Council race

By Rachel Shapiro

Kamillah Hanks is hoping to unseat two-term incumbent Councilwoman Debi Rose. (Staten Island Advance/Rachel Shapiro)

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- The Patrolmen's Benevolent Association has endorsed Democrat Kamillah Hanks in her campaign to unseat Councilwoman Debi Rose.

Hanks, a civic leader who runs an alternative school for troubled youth, is challenging Rose (D-North Shore) as the councilwoman seeks a third term.

They will face off in a Sept. 12 Democratic primary, and the winner will go up against Michael Penrose, a Conservative who also has the Republican Party line, in the November general election.

A third Democrat, Phil Marius, had been trying to get on the ballot, but didn't have enough valid petition signatures to withstand a challenge from a Hanks supporter. The Board of Elections commissioners voted unanimously not to qualify his petitions.

The PBA is the largest police union for the NYPD, with about 24,000 of the 36,000 officers as members.

President Patrick J. Lynch said in a statement, "New York City police officers need strong allies like Kamillah in the City Council who will support us in the difficult, dangerous work we do to protect all New Yorkers. Kamillah has demonstrated a commitment to the issues that are most important to police officers -- including fair pay, adequate benefits, and appropriate equipment for police officers. We hope that North Shore voters will recognize her willingness to fight for the women and men who keep our streets safe, and will join us in making sure she can continue that fight in the City Council."

In 2013, the PBA endorsed Rose challenger Mark Macron, and endorsed Ken Mitchell in the 2009 special election, when he won, and whom Rose defeated a few months later.

Hanks said in a statement, "I would like to express my gratitude to the PBA and their endorsement of my campaign. Their support reinforces my mission of bringing fresh ideas to the North Shore. Police officers in our city have some of the toughest jobs, but they do it with pride. They keep our streets safe and are helping to fight the terrible opioid epidemic that we are battling, so I could not be happier to know that I have them on my side. I know that together, we can successfully advocate for the hard-working officers here on the North Shore and citywide so that they are making the wages they deserve. When we work together, we can make our community stronger."