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Mark Gjonaj

Mark Gjonaj (/ˈn/ JOH-nye)[1] is an American politician of the Democratic Party. He has served in the New York City Council from the 13th district since 2018. He represented district 80 of the New York State Assembly from 2013 to 2017. His district encompasses Morris Park, Pelham Parkway, Pelham Gardens, and Norwood, among other communities located in the Borough of the Bronx.

Mark Gjonaj
Member of the New York City Council from the 13th district
Assumed office
January 1, 2018
Preceded by James Vacca
Member of the New York State Assembly from the 80th district
In office
January 1, 2013 – December 31, 2017
Preceded by Naomi Rivera
Personal details
Born Bronx, New York
United States
Political party Democratic
Alma mater St. John's University

Contents

Early life and educationEdit

Gjonaj was born in the Bronx to an Albanian family from Reč, Montenegro. He attended St. Raymond High School for Boys and graduated from St. John's University with a bachelor's degree.[2][3]

CareerEdit

Gjonaj is the president of M P Realty Group Corp., a real estate brokerage firm that he founded in 1999. His political experience prior to election was as a member of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission.

Honors and awardsEdit

Gjonaj was presented with Albania's Honor of Nation Order, Urdhri Nderi i Kombit, by President Bujar Nishani.[when?]

New York State AssemblyEdit

Gjonaj defeated incumbent assemblywoman Naomi Rivera in the 2012 Democratic primary race, in a district which, due to mandatory re-districting, incorporated a large part of the borough previously part of the 81st District represented by Jeffrey Dinowitz.[4] On November 6, 2012, he won the general election with 79% of the vote.[5]

New York City CouncilEdit

In 2017, Gjonaj entered the race to represent the 13th District of the New York City Council, to replace Councilman James Vacca, who had to step down due to term limits.[6] At the time of the primary election, he was seen as a leading candidate, due to the large amount of financing he had received, much of it from the real estate industry and other sources outside of the district, for which he was criticized by his opponents.[7][8] Gjonaj won the five-way primary with 39% of the vote, over the out-going Vacca's endorsed candidate, Marjorie Velazquez, who won 34%, and third-place John Doyle's 19%.[9]

On November 8, 2017, Gjonaj won his bid to replace New York City Councilman James Vacca, defeating the Republican candidate John Cerini by a margin of 49% to 36%[10].

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Goodman, J. David (12 September 2017). "Local Issues Dominate New York City Council Elections". Retrieved 6 February 2018 – via NYTimes.com. 
  2. ^ "Albanian-American realtor challenges incumbent Bronx Assemblywoman". Retrieved 5 June 2017. 
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-07-12. 
  4. ^ Kratz, Alex (September 20, 2012). "Naomi Rivera Defeated Soundly in Assembly Primary By Hard-Working Challenger". Bronx News. Retrieved 11 November 2012. 
  5. ^ Kratz, Alex (November 7, 2012). "No Surprises in Local Election Results as Democrats Sweep the Bronx". Norwood News. Retrieved 11 November 2012. 
  6. ^ Ben Max (May 1, 2017). "Candidates for 2017 City Elections". Gotham Gazette. 
  7. ^ Ross Barkan (September 8, 2017). "Bronx Assembly Member Mark Gjonaj Is Trying to Spend His Way Onto the City Council". Village Voice. 
  8. ^ Jonathan Gomez (August 25, 2017). "Frontrunner Becomes Top Issue in East Bronx Council Race". CityLimits.org. 
  9. ^ Max, Ben. "2017 New York City Primary Election Results". Retrieved 13 September 2017. 
  10. ^ "Election Results: De Blasio Wins Second Term as New York City Mayor". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-11-08. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Naomi Rivera
New York Assembly, 80th District
2013–2017
Succeeded by
Vacant