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.
More labor supporters of Christine Quinn’s defeated mayoral campaign are jumping over to Bill de Blasio’s bid for City Hall.
The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union and United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500 have joined SEIU 32BJ in endorsing Mr. de Blasio, sending a not-so-subtle hint to his Democratic rival Bill Thompson, who is waiting to see if he can eke into a runoff election.
The executive board of 32BJ voted tonight to endorse Public Advocate Bill de Blasio in the Democratic primary for mayor, dealing a serious blow to Bill Thompson, who is still holding out hope for a runoff.
The union, which is one of the city’s largest, had previously backed Council Speaker Christine Quinn, a distant third place finisher in the race.
In the one of the stranger election years of the last half century, Norman Seabrook’s labor endorsements still manage to stand out.
Take, for example, Comptroller John Liu.
The bombastic president of the Correction Officers Benevolent Association is convinced Mr. Liu, mired in fifth place in the polls and bereft of millions in matching funds following a federal investigation that uncovered fund-raising fraud, will be a 21st century David Dinkins and surge to the top of the heap on Election Day.
The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, a relatively modest-sized but politically aggressive union, has announced more endorsements for the 2013 election cycle.
The support, which spans City Council races across the five boroughs, was given to a mixture of incumbents and open-seat contenders, and includes candidates who have amassed large labor coalitions like Austin Shafran in Queens and less establishment-oriented hopefuls like John Mancuso in Staten Island. All are Democrats.
The Council of School Supervisors and Administrators endorsed Bill Thompson today, adding a major education union to his labor tally one day before the influential United Federation of Teachers is set to make its pick.
The union, representing nearly 16,000 public school principals and education administrators, said Mr. Thompson’s commitment to appointing an educator as schools chancellor, as well as his belief that New York City should be a more affordable place for the middle class, led members of the executive committee to vote to back him.
The influential 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers Union weighed in on two City Council races today, boosting Brooklyn’s Carlos Menchaca and the Bronx’s Ritchie Torres, in their bid for office this year.
“Carlos Menchaca has the background, experience, and judgment working people need in the City Council,” Kevin Finnegan, 1199′s political director, said in a statement. “A product of Bronx public housing and Bronx public schools, Ritchie Torres reflects the community he is running to represent in City Hall,” he said in another
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.”
While the big labor unions and elected officials have mostly stayed mum on the mayoral race so far, the same can’t be said for the citywide race for comptroller. Accordingly, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, currently unopposed, continues to amass endorsement after endorsement in his bid, a long list of which you can view below. The latest arrived today in the form of the influential 1199 SEIU.
“When it comes to fighting to make sure hard working New Yorkers have good paying jobs and access to quality healthcare, Scott has been in the corner of working families throughout his career,” George Gresham, the union’s president, said in a statement. “It is why we enthusiastically support him as the next New York City Comptroller.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo sent a letter to Public Service Commission chairman Garry Brown, urging him to bring together representatives from Con Edison and from Utility Workers Union of America Local 1-2 in order to end a lockout now reaching its fourth week.
“This lockout has gone on long enough,” Gov. Cuomo wrote. “Elected state and city officials are rightfully concerned. I urge you to bring both parties together to strongly encourage an expeditious resolution, and to emphasize that both Con Ed and the union will be held accountable by the people of the state if their failure to settle the dispute contributes to service disruptions or impacts safety.”