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U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer has endorsed Andrew Gounardes for the 22nd State Senate District, saying the Democratic challenger "will fight to create jobs and raise the minimum wage."

“I have lived in Brooklyn my entire life, and rarely have I seen a candidate who works as hard as Andrew,” said Schumer, in his endorsement of Gounardes, who wants the seat now being held incumbent Republican state Sen. Marty Golden.

“Middle-class families from Marine Park to Bay Ridge deserve a State Senator as hardworking as they are,” Schumer said in a statement. “Most of all, they deserve someone who represents today’s Brooklyn, which is more dynamic than ever. I know that Andrew Gounardes will be that person.”

Gounardes is challenging one of the few remaining Republican state Senators in the five boroughs in a district that although Democratic in registration leans conservative.

Golden has made a number of gaffes including crossing a Verizon picket line and holding an "ettiquette" forum for women but defeating the long-term incumbent will certainly be no easy task.

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Sen. Martin Golden and his Democratic challenger Andrew Gounardes faced off last night in front of a raucous crowd of their own supporters. It wasn't the most civilized debate. Zingers were exchanged and the men got uncomftorably close to each other at a few points but they did discuss the issues including: energy, gun violence, fair pay for women and emergency contraception.

The Bensonhurst Bean has full video of the debate.

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Incumbent Republican Sen. Marty Golden and Democrat Andrew Gounardes, his challenger for the 22nd State Senate District, will debate at Saint Phillips Episcopal Church at 1072 80th Street in Dyker Heights at 8 p.m. tonight.

The debate is sponsored by the Dyker Heights Community Council.

Gounardes' campaign has been fairly relentless in attacking Golden on his voting history on housing issues, gun laws and Golden's cancelled ettiquette workshop for women that stirred up a bit of controversy.

Golden's campaign has steadily announced a number of endorsements, including from SEIU 1199 and the state's Public Employees Federation.

Andrew Gounardes introduces himself to voters. Picture provided by the Gounardes campaign.