New York pols and their biggest celebrity team-ups

Photos of various celebrities with New York politicians
Photos of various celebrities with New York politicians
Photos by William Alatriste/New York City Council; Philip Kamrass/Office of the Governor; Rob Bennett, Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office; State Senate; Scott Stringer, Andrea Stewart-Cousins/Facebook; Collage by Alex Law

New York pols and their biggest celebrity team-ups

Stumping with the stars
March 3, 2018

You don’t have to be Don Draper to know the value of a celebrity endorsement, and New York politicians are always dragging celebrities out to rallies, fundraisers and press conferences to draw some attention. In honor of red carpet season, here are some of the best examples:

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Ja Rule with New York City Council members Ritchie Torres and Alicka Ampry-Samuel
Ja Rule with New York City Council members Ritchie Torres and Alicka Ampry-Samuel
William Alatriste/New York City Council

Ja Rule

New York City Council members Ritchie Torres and Alicka Ampry-Samuel got the Queens rapper to criticize City Hall in February for failing to keep the heat on for NYCHA tenants living in “Third World conditions.”

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Amy Poehler with Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins
Amy Poehler with Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins
Andrea Stewart-Cousins/Facebook

Amy Poehler

The genius behind everyone’s favorite municipal bureaucrat Leslie Knope is also a former waitress, and she joined state Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins in February to talk about sexual harassment and low wages for restaurant workers.

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Billy Joel and Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Billy Joel and Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Philip Kamrass/Office of the Governor

Billy Joel

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is so friendly with Joel that the governor is the godfather of the piano man’s daughter. Joel will show up anywhere for Cuomo, including fundraisers, bay cleanups, arena announcements and motorcycle benefit rides.

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Robert De Niro and Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Robert De Niro and Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Philip Kamrass/Office of the Governor

Robert De Niro

Cuomo got the “Raging Bull” to spice up the sleepy Catskills, flying him up north in a helicopter for a June 2016 announcement promoting tourism in the former Borscht Belt.

RELATED: The best New York political movies

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Scarlett Johansson with New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer
Scarlett Johansson with New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer
Scott Stringer/Facebook

Scarlett Johansson

Before New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer’s run for mayor got “Lost in Translation,” the actress held an October 2011 fundraiser for him. The Manhattan native, whose brother once worked for Stringer, fundraised again in April 2012 and July 2013.

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Pedro Martinez with state Sen. Jose Peralta, Rep. Adriano Espaillat and state Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins
Pedro Martinez with state Sen. Jose Peralta, Rep. Adriano Espaillat and state Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins
State Senate

Pedro Martinez

The baseball Hall of Famer is a hero to his fellow baseball-loving Dominican-American Rep. Adriano Espaillat. When he was a state senator, Espaillat brought the former Red Sox pitcher to Albany in February 2015 to celebrate Dominican Heritage Month.

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Steve Buscemi and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio
Steve Buscemi and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio
Rob Bennett/Mayoral Photography Office

Steve Buscemi

The FDNY firefighter-turned-actor is a longtime supporter of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and held a January 2017 fundraiser, but he really helped out the mayor the most at his first Inner Circle show in March 2014.

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Cynthia Nixon with New York City first lady Chirlane McCray
Cynthia Nixon with New York City first lady Chirlane McCray
Rob Bennett/Mayoral Photography Office

Cynthia Nixon

Well before she considered a run for governor, the “Sex and the City” actress was a big de Blasio supporter, backing him on social media and at rallies since the earliest days of his mayoral campaign in November 2011. Rumors flew she’d take a job with him – but instead, her wife did.

Jeff Coltin
Jeff Coltin
is a staff reporter at City & State. He covers New York City Hall.
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