Former NYS Senator Tom Duane Endorses Evelyn Farkas for Congress

Monday, April 27, 2020

Tom Duane, the progressive former New York State Senator, has endorsed the campaign of Evelyn Farkas, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense under President Obama, as the Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in NY CD-17.

"It is a rare thing for voters to have the opportunity to choose a Representative of Evelyn's quality," Duane said. "With deep roots in the community, global stature, experience delivering at the highest levels in Washington, and a big heart, Evelyn is truly the ideal candidate to succeed Representative Nita Lowey. I am excited to endorse Evelyn because I know she will deliver on the progressive priorities that we need for New York and our nation, from healthcare and gun-violence to human rights abroad and LGBTQ equality here at home."

Senator Duane was the first openly gay member of the New York State Senate. A dedicated and effective advocate for progressive legislation in Albany, Duane passed the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act, and helped to establish marriage equality in New York. He has worked to advance mental healthcare and civil rights in New York, passing legislation requiring insurers to provide comprehensive mental health care coverage and reversing the draconian Rockefeller Drug Laws that over-criminalized drug offenses.

"To have the support of someone who has been such a legendary progressive advocate here in New York is a tremendous honor," Farkas said. "With Senator Duane's support, we will go to Washington to do for our nation what Senator Duane did for the State of New York—pass the progressive legislation we need to prioritize mental healthcare and ensure equal treatment for everyone in our society, regardless of who you love or how you identify."

Senator Duane's nod is the latest for Farkas, the only candidate in the race with federal legislative and policy experience. She's been endorsed by two leading figures in the Jewish-American community, Stuart Eizenstat, former Ambassador to the EU and Special Advisor for Holocaust Issues under President Obama, and Daniel Shapiro, President Obama's U.S. Ambassador to Israel. Farkas has also been endorsed by former Secretary of State and presidential nominee John Kerry, former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, former Senators Carl Levin and Bob Graham, current Representatives Marcy Kaptur and Tom Malinowksi, former NARAL-Pro Choice NY and Planned Parenthood Federation of America Board Chair Jill Lafer, and progressive activists and award-winning actors Rob Reiner and Jane Lynch.

The daughter of Hungarian refugees, Farkas was raised in Westchester and attended public schools there. For nearly three decades, she has represented the United States defending democracy and advancing human rights in the Defense Department and on the Senate Armed Services Committee staff. In addition to serving as executive director of the WMD Commission, she was a human rights officer in Bosnia and a professor at the U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College. She has advised former cabinet secretaries, representatives and senators, including Hillary Clinton.

New York's 17th Congressional District for the U.S. House of Representatives is located in
the Lower Hudson Valley. It includes all of Rockland County and portions of central and northwestern Westchester County, including Chappaqua, Mt. Kisco, Ossining, Peekskill, Pleasantville, Tarrytown, White Plains, Cortlandt and Yorktown Heights. District residents interested in Farkas' election campaign can visit, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to learn more, volunteer or contribute.