From the morning memo:
Fordham Law Prof. Zephyr Teachout is a step closer to mounting a Democratic primary challenge against Gov. Andrew Cuomo, circulating nominating petitions to get her name onto the September ballot.
Teachout, as you’ll recall, unsuccessfully challenged Cuomo for the Working Families Party nod, forcing him to agree to the labor-backed party’s demands in exchange for its endorsement.
Teachout, who worked on former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign, but was relatively unknown in New York political circles, was empowered by the fact that she received just over 41 percent of the weighted WFP convention vote.
She refused to go away quietly, saying she would consider a long-shot – and largely ideological – challenge to Cuomo on the Democratic Party line.
The NY Post reported this morning that Teachout “announced her campaign team” at a meeting of the Village Independent Democrats in NYC last night.
According to the paper, WFP field director Mike Boland plans to resign his post to run Teachout’s campaign, and he told the Democratic club’s members that her petitions would start circulating today.
The headline on the Post story was: “Professor Plans to Challenge Gov. Cuomo in Dem primary.” But Teachout herself called that a bit premature.
“Just to be clear, the headline is a little misleading: no final decision has been made,” Teachout told me during a brief exchange on Twitter this morning. “I have a few more days to decide. Thanks!”
However, Teachout did not deny that she is circulating petitions, saying:
“Because of the calendar, I must plan to run while deciding whether to run. If I do this, I’ll do it right. If not, no harm no foul. Tx.”
Teachout originally gave herself until this past Monday to decide if she would go ahead with a primary challenge to Cuomo. (Unlike with the WFP line, she would not need permission from party leaders to run because she is a registered Democrat, so the threshold to ballot access – while still daunting – is slightly lower).
But last week, Teachout extended that deadline, saying she needed more time to determine whether she could put together the resources to mount a “credible” campaign against the powerful, well-funded and relatively popular (according to public opinion polls) incumbent governor.
In the meantime, Teachout has been making the rounds of the Democratic clubs in New York City. She was at VID last night, and on Wednesday night, pitched her candidacy to members of the Three Parks Independent Democrats.
Three Parks President Elizabeth Kellner said in an email that Teachout told club members she would make a decision about her campaign by the end of next week.
Also present that night were former NYC Comptroller and mayoral candidate John Liu, who is mounting a primary challenge to IDC member Tony Avella, of Queens; and former NYC Councilman Oliver Koppell, who is primarying IDC Leader Jeff Klein in the Bronx.
Unlike Teachout, both Koppell and Liu have the WFP’s support.
Club members also heard from former NYC Councilman Robert Jackson, who is running for the Senate seat Adriano Espaillat will vacate if he wins his June 24 primary challenge to Rep. Charlie Rangel; and Jamie Kemmerer, a political activist and executive director of the Bay Ridge Democrats, who plans to challenge GOP Sen. Marty Golden in November.
“We wanted to inform our membership about opportunities to help in some other crucial races which affect the progressive agenda which we support,” Kellner wrote.
“One of our district leaders pointed out that if the four Senate candidates who appeared at our meeting were all elected, the ‘real’ Democrats would become the majority in the state Senate.”
Prior to the WFP’s convention, polls showed that Cuomo’s lead over Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino would shrink considerably if a nameless third party candidate made it onto the ballot.
To date, however, there has been no polling (that I’ve seen, anyway) on how Cuomo would fare if a left-of-center candidate challenged him in a Democratic primary.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Liz Benjamin on June 13, 2014 at 7:43 am, and is filed under 2014. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|
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