After years representing him and his Independent Democratic Conference to the media, Candice Giove not only has parted ways with her old boss, state Sen. Jeffrey Klein — she’s burning the bridge.
Giove, now a spokeswoman for senate Republicans, fought a Twitter battle last week against her counterpart, senate Democratic spokesman Mike Murphy, where she essentially reignited chatter about sexual harassment claims levied against Klein last January.
“I’m proud to join the GOP ship now,” Giove told Murphy on the social media platform, according to another former employer, The New York Post. “Hope you enjoy working for an accused predator.”
A former staffer, Erica Vladimir, accused Klein of kissing her outside of an Albany bar in 2015. Klein has denied the charge, and said he would welcome an investigation into the matter, current spokeswoman Barbara Brancaccio told the publication.
In her own interview, Giove told the paper she didn’t “feel good at all” working for Klein after the claims were made. However, it appears she continued to work for the senator up until the IDC officially dissolved some months later.
Casey Seiler, a senior news editor for the Albany Times-Union, questioned Giove about her latest remarks against Klein, implying she took a much different approach back when the allegations were first made. Seiler even showed a month’s gap in tweets from Giove between Jan. 5 and Feb. 5 — Vladimir’s allegations were first published Jan. 10.
“For some reason, all of Candice Giove’s mid-crisis tweets from the period in which Klein was accused of sexual misconduct have disappeared,” Seiler said. “And she tweets a lot.”
Giove defended herself, however, telling Seiler “I never tweeted once about that.”
Giove represents a slim Republican majority in the senate, thanks to Brooklyn senator Simcha Felder, a Democratic who caucuses with the Republicans. However, Democrats have expressed optimism that with the IDC now part of their side of the aisle, they’ll have majority control come November.
With a spirited primary challenge coming from Alessandra Biaggi, Sen. Jeff Klein is collecting key endorsements as he defends his seat, including an expected one from the chamber’s minority leader.
Andrea Stewart-Cousins, who is in line to become senate leader if Democrats retake control of the body in November, put her support behind Klein last week, saying that Democrats have to work together.
“I am proud to support Sen. Klein and endorse his re-election campaign,” Stewart-Cousins said in a release. “By working together, I know we will achieve a functioning Democratic senate majority, and give New Yorkers the progressive leadership they deserve.”
Also backing Klein this past week was Teamsters Local 831, a union representing the city’s sanitation workers.
“As a state senator, Jeff Klein has time and again stood up and delivered for New York’s workers, families and middle class,” Local 831 president Harry Nespoli said. “We need his continued leadership in Albany.”