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Public Employee Press

Election 2018

Union-backed candidates win primary elections


With the largest primary turnout in decades, the union’s vaunted “Green Machine” helped score major victories on Sept. 13 Primary Day elections, contributing Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s win by a landslide victory over Cynthia Nixon in the Democratic Primary. The governor won with nearly 980,000 votes — 65 percent of the ballots cast — due in large part for his strong support of unions, including signing protections for unions to blunt the threat that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Janus v. AFSCME posed.

DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido lauded Cuomo’s effort to shore up workers’ rights in the state. “The governor set an example for the nation by protecting our fundamental rights to collectively bargain and organize.”

In a recent live telephone town hall with more than 14,000 DC 37 members, the governor pulled no punches as to his determination to defend and advance union issues.

Union support key in primary wins

“Nobody has done what we have done here. We are the first state in the nation to pass a $15 minimum wage. Free college tuition for all poor,

working families and middle class residents and the best paid family leave program in the United States — and importantly — down to 5 percent uninsured in New York state. We’ve done so much to be proud of,” Cuomo said.

DC 37 was also key in assisting New York City Public Advocate Letitia James’ bid to become the first African-American woman to be state Attorney General.

James faced a tough multi-candidate primary, but heavy turnout in New York City was key to her victory, winning 40 percent of the vote over law professor Zephyr Teachout, U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney and former U.S. Senate Aide Leecia Eve.

Garrido lauded these major statewide victories. “Thursday’s primary election victories were good news for the state’s working men and women,” he said. “I am proud of our volunteers’ efforts to get out the vote that contributed to the high voter turnout in New York City.”

“As we enter the fall campaign, DC 37’s Green Machine will continue to work to help re-elect Governor Cuomo and to elect Tish James as the first

African-American woman to serve as New York State Attorney General this November,” said Garrido.