On the night last month when Grace Meng won a tightly contested Democratic primary for a new Congressional seat in Queens, she took the stage at a packed campaign party and told the story of her run. It was rough going for a while, she said. But then, “Peter Ward and the Hotel Trades Council took a chance on me and they came on board. HTC is at the forefront of modern organizing and their muscle and people have been the spine of our efforts.”
Later that night, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and City Comptroller John Liu reached out, congratulating Mr. Ward on his role in helping push Ms. Meng over the edge.
It was the union’s first real foray into federal elections, and the three mayoral hopefuls already knew what the rest of the city may soon find out: that Mr. Ward, 54 and the head of the hotel workers union for the last 15 years, has quietly become perhaps New York’s most powerful labor boss. Read More