On Sept.  8, 2017, Robert Kesten declared his candidacy for the New York State Senate in District 40.

Kesten is no newcomer to government, but he hasn’t been a politician. He worked for U.S. Sens. Tom Daschle, Harry Reid and Paul Simon as well as for NYS Senate Minority Leader Manfred Ohrenstein. And he’s worked internationally on the break-up of the Soviet Union and the Arab Spring as a human rights activist.

During 2017, Robert was an instrumental member of the grassroots effort to elect George Latimer, Lanny Gilbert and many other local and county Democrats. And more recently he helped campaign in the special election to elect Shelley Mayer.

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These Democratic wins and many similar ones around the country were not won by big money corporations and PACs, but by the hard work of individuals in groups such as Indivisible.

So, when the governor of New York hand-picks his own man to run in the primary against Robert—and when that candidate claims he has the governor’s financial backers behind him—it discounts all that hard work. And I don’t believe that kind of experience will make the difference we need to see in this election.

Kesten already has the endorsement of every Democratic committee in the district because he shares our values. Not just in words, but in actions. He is not what you might call a political virtuoso, and he doesn’t live in the governor’s shadow or owe him anything!

We want to be represented in Albany; not be represented by Albany.