September 20, 2016
By Bill Lipton, New York State Director, Working Families Party
New York, NY – The WFP has had some exciting election nights over the past 18 years. But this past Tuesday night was one of the best primary nights I can remember.
In race after race, WFP candidates racked up a clean sweep of our priority contests across New York state. Here are some of the highlights:
A new era for Lower Manhattan. In the battle for Sheldon Silver's former seat in the 65th Assembly District, WFP candidate Yuh-Line Niou came roaring back from her narrow loss on the WFP line in April's special election to win a high-profile, six-way primary race for the Democratic nomination. Yuh-Line is the child of immigrants and an energetic advocate for working families. We were excited to help turn out voters for her yesterday, and we can't wait until she gets to Albany.
Right-wing big money loses again. In races in NYC and on Long Island, WFP candidates fended off primary challengers backed by the billionaire-funded "New Yorkers for Independent Action" SuperPAC seeking to privatize public schools. That included Senator Gustavo Rivera and Assemblymembers Latrice Walker and Pamela Harris in NYC and Assemblymember Phil Ramos on Long Island, all of whom won despite a massive, million-dollar independent expenditure from NYIA. WFP organizers were on the ground in many of these races as well. The lesson: New Yorkers don't want to see big, out-of-district money dictate who gets to represent them in Albany.
Finally, WFP candidates also swept our priority open seat races for the State Assembly. WFP Progressive Pipeline candidate Anthony Eramo, a third-generation union member, won his hard-fought primary on the South Shore of Long Island. Progressive reformers Tremaine Wright and Robert Carroll both won their primaries for open Assembly seats in Brooklyn. And Monica Wallace won her primary in Western New York. Together with our ongoing work to recruit, train, and elect candidates with our Progressive Candidate Pipeline, this work is how we will shape the Assembly for years to come.
These results showed that New York's progressive movement is alive and well. But voter support is critical.