Endorsing Bill de Blasio was a move fraught with risk in May.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn was the vaunted front-runner in the mayor’s race, according to the polls. It was widely assumed that former Comptroller Bill Thompson, the only black candidate in the race, would consolidate the minority vote.
But the influential healthcare workers’ union went with Mr. de Blasio, the city’s public advocate, who now stands as the all-but-assured Democratic nominee for mayor. Mr. de Blasio repaid their faith by making potential hospital closures a centerpiece of his campaign: in July, he was even arrested for protesting the closures of two Brooklyn hospitals, a move that gave him needed publicity.
Although the chaotic Democratic mayoral primary has ended with Bill de Blasio emerging the victor, the race to replace the public advocate is just ramping up.
The October 1 runoff between Brooklyn Councilwoman Tish James and State Senator Daniel Squadron is widely seen as a tossup by political insiders, who note each Democrat carries glaring strengths and weaknesses into the contest. While Ms. James has a broad labor coalition and would be the only non-white Democrat to win a nomination, Mr. Squadron has enjoyed a fund-raising advantage and solid debate performances thus far.
a bronx tale
Nelson Castro and Victor Pichardo have a few things in common. They’re both ambitious, Dominican-American and hand-picked candidates of the Bronx Democratic machine.
But Mr. Pichardo, 28, is hoping to traverse a very different path than Mr. Castro, the fallen former Bronx assemblyman revealed in April to have been a wired-up informant for almost his entire Albany tenure.
Forced to resign his West Bronx seat in April, Mr. Castro has created a rare open race in the borough where the diplomatic Mr. Pichardo, backed by the Bronx Democratic Party and powerful labor unions like the Hotel Trades Council, is poised to win in September.
A crowded field of candidates are vying to replace Councilwoman Tish James, each hoping to leverage every electoral advantage for her Fort Greene-based seat. Accordingly, one contender, Laurie Cumbo, the former head of the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, rolled out the support of the small-but-powerful Hotel Trades Council earlier today.
“We are thrilled to announce our support for Laurie Cumbo today,” Josh Gold, the union’s political director, said in a statement.
The New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council, a relatively small union known for punching above its weight when it comes to electoral politics, has picked their candidate in the race to replace Council Speaker Chris Quinn: West Side community board chairman Corey Johnson. Josh Gold, HTC’s political director, told Politicker that the race of particular importance to the union due to the growth of hotels there in neighborhoods like Midtown South and the Meatpacking District.
“Corey Johnson has been a community leader on the West Side for over a decade,” Mr. Gold added in a statement. “He has fought for quality jobs, permanent affordable housing, community-minded development and raising the quality of life for residents in the neighborhoods he seeks to represent.”
Although he won’t beat the record of the man he’s vying to replace, at 24 years old, Ritchie Torres would be one of the youngest members of City Council ever if he’s elected later this year. And so far at least, it seems he’s positioning himself well to do exactly that, raising $60,0000 in his latest filing and simultaneously announcing the endorsement of the Hotel Trades Council, a relatively small union known for punching above its weight.
“I am so appreciative for this critical endorsement. The Hotel Trades Council has one of the premier get out the vote operations in the state and I’m excited to have them on my team,” Mr. Torres, a staffer for neighboring Councilman Jimmy Vacca, said in a statement.
It’s a good day for former Assemblyman Rory Lancman.
Mr. Lancman, a candidate for outgoing Councilman Jim Gennaro’s seat, was first welcomed to the news that his top opponent, Martha Taylor, had dropped out of the race. Giving him a further boost, this afternoon, Mr. Lancman scored the endorsement of the Hotel Trades Council, a small but politically powerful union that successfully worked on behalf of Mr. Lancman’s competitor in a congressional campaign last year.
staten island bout
The Hotel Trades Council, which has become one of the most influential unions in New York City politics thanks to their aggressive organizing efforts and willingness to back both Democrats and Republicans, dove into the five boroughs’ most competitive congressional race this afternoon by endorsing Democrat Mark Murphy over incumbent GOP Rep. Michael Grimm.
“We’re all in. This is a priority race for us,” Josh Gold, HTC’s political director, explained in a statement. “We plan to do everything we can to elect Mark. He is someone who will stand up for all working men and women. He will fight hard for policies and legislation that will improve the lives of our members and help rebuild the middle class.”