WFP Taps Placeholders For Gov, LG, AG
The Working Families Party tapped three unknowns – all attorneys – to run for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general at its convention in Buffalo today, signaling a clear willingness to deal with Democratic nominee Andrew Cuomo, who took a pass on its line.
Kenneth Schaeffer, a legal Legal Aid lawyer, United Auto Workers member, and a longtime WFP member and activist, is the labor-backed party’s candidate (for the moment) for governor.
Elon Harpaz, also a Legal Aid attorney, and a board member of the community group Good Old Lower East Side, is the LG contender.
Amy Young is an attorney for the Communications Workers of America and a longtime WFP member, is the AG candidate.
The party backed a single major party contender, Democratic state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. (His GOP opponent, Harry Wilson, has already made the comptroller’s acceptance of the WFP line a campaign issue).
WFP Executive Director Dan Cantor made it clear these choices will be reconsidered at a later date, and also sounded less-than-thrilled about the AG decision.
“These outstanding individuals have shown a longstanding commitment to working families and they are the best candidates currently available,” Cantor said of the three placeholders.
“That said, they are all team players, and should stronger candidates emerge, WFP members may revisit today’s decisions.”
“In these turbulent times, working men and women continue to face abusive and predatory behavior in the marketplace and in the workplace,” Cantor said of the AG’s race.
“We need a strong champion for working families enforcing the laws of our state, not a laissez-faire lackey. A unified ticket with the Democrats could be important, so I expect the state committee may revisit this race in September.”
Cuomo, who made it clear last week that he would not accept the WFP line, reportedly pressured the WFP to put placeholder candidates for governor, LG and AG in order to buy some time to see how the US attorney’s investigation of the party plays out.
The WFP’s decision to punt is a blow to Sen. Eric Schneiderman and Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, who had been lobbying hard for the party’s nod.
Schneiderman has the support of powerful key affiliates of the WFP, including 32BJ and SEIU 1199 and was believed to have the inside edge to land the line, providing him with a sure-thing place to run in the general election.
Brodsky, however, has landed some union support, too, including from the CWA, whose political director, Bob Master, is a co-chair of the WFP.
The WFP had considered running its own candidate in the form of a big-name liberal star to run on Cuomo’s left and draw the 50,000 votes necessary to maintain its official ballot status.
Clearly, the party has decided not to go that route, preferring instead to play ball with the AG. All three of its placeholders can be nominated for a judgeship after the September primary to get them off of the general election ballot.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Liz Benjamin on June 6, 2010 at 1:06 pm, and is filed under 2010 Gov Race, Andrew Cuomo, Attorney General, Tom DiNapoli, Working Families Party. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|