Former NYC Police Commissioner Bill Bratton endorses Robert Zimmerman for Congress

Former NYC Police Commissioner Bill Bratton endorses Robert Zimmerman for Congress
Great Neck's Robert Zimmerman is running for New York's 3rd Congressional District. (Photo courtesy of the candidate)

Former New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton has endorsed Great Neck’s Robert Zimmerman in his bid for the 3rd Congressional District. 

Bratton, 74, is currently the chairman of the Homeland Security Advisory Council, a role he began in 2020. 

He served two terms as New York City’s police commissioner, from 1994 to 1996 and 2014 to 2016. He was also commissioner of the Boston Police Department from 1993 to 1994 and chief of the Los Angeles Police Department from 2002 to 2009. 

“I am proud to endorse Robert Zimmerman for Congress. I am confident that Robert is the right candidate to keep our Long Island and Queens communities safe. Robert has a track record of a level-headed approach to issues and an ability to bring people together to solve problems – especially when it comes to balancing criminal justice reform with public safety,” Bratton said in a statement. “In Congress, Robert will work tirelessly to stop the flow of illegal guns and prevent gun violence, fight hate crimes in our communities and support law enforcement and work to improve community-police relations. Please join me in supporting Robert Zimmerman for Congress in NY-03.” 

Zimmerman said he was honored by the endorsement and that Bratton’s legacy “is defined by heroic public safety accomplishments, diversity in the police force, and strengthening community-police relations.”

If elected, Zimmerman would become the first openly gay member of Congress from Long Island and Queens as would his Republican challenger, George Santos.

Zimmerman, 67, is co-president of ZE Creative Communications on Bond Street in Great Neck, a public relations firm he started 33 years ago with Ron Edelson and a Democratic national committeeman.  

Zimmerman received 9,482, or 36%, of the votes in the 3rd Congressional District primary in August. Former North Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaiman finished second with 6,884 votes for 26%. Nassau County Legislator Joshua Lafazan (D-Woodbury) was in third place with 5,296 votes, Port Washington’s Melanie D’Arrigo received 4,197 votes and Oyster Bay’s Reema Rasool received 661 votes.

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Zimmerman previously worked as a congressional aide on Capitol Hill for Congressmen Lester Wolff, James Scheuer and Gary Ackerman. His advocacy also led to his being nominated by President Bill Clinton to serve on the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Presidential Commission on the Arts and by President Barack Obama to serve on the National Council on the Humanities. 

The businessman referred to numerous pieces of legislation in state governments aimed at compromising voting, abortion and the LGBTQ+ community’s rights, among other things, as threats to the country’s fabric. 

Notable endorsements for Zimmerman include Gov. Kathy Hochul, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, U.S. Rep. Grace Meng, former Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, state Assemblyman Charles Lavine and state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

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