State Sen. Velmanette Montgomery to Retire

Another veteran member of the New York State Senate will not seek re-election this fall.

On January 11, 2020, State Sen. Velmanette Montgomery (D-Brooklyn) announced that she would retire at the end of this year. Sen. Montgomery, who represents Senate District 25 in northern Brooklyn, has served in the State Senate since 1985. She is the longest-tenured African-American woman in the New York State Legislature. Sen. Montgomery is known for having advocated for the “Raise the Age” law (which prevented 16- and 17-year-olds from being tried as adults or from being housed in adult prison populations) and for the adoptee birth certificate law (which allows adoptees who have reached the age of 18 to apply for copies of their original birth certificates).

According to City & State New York, Sen. Montgomery’s retirement sets the stage for a Democratic primary contest that pits the Democratic establishment against the progressive wing of the party in Senate District 25. (Given that Democrats outnumber Republicans by a margin of more than 20 to one in the district, a competitive general election is highly unlikely.) Sen. Montgomery has endorsed the establishment-backed Asm. Tremaine Wright (D-Brooklyn) to succeed her. Other candidates include Jabari Brisport, who has been endorsed by the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), and Jason Salmon, a onetime Montgomery staffer who is also a progressive. Primary elections, both in Senate District 25 and around the state, are scheduled for June 23, 2020.