There may come a day where an army of union volunteers knocking on doors and pulling votes on election day no longer has the same impact. There is a lot of talk about voting reform in New York State early next year which could include implementing some form of early voting. That would mean a ground operation on Primary or Election Day could be less important if people have already cast ballots.

But that’s not the world we live in. At least not yet.

What Governor Cuomo and Letitia James were able to accomplish last month was mobilizing people and getting them to the polls. In huge numbers. That was partially money, partially anti-Trump fervor and certainly a robust education effort informing people that Primary day fell on a weird Thursday in Mid-September. But mostly it was the hard working men and women in the labor unions hitting the ground.

Which is why there is no surprise that Democrats in local races across the State would also want to highlight their union embracing bonafides ahead of election day. Take this election in the 5th Senate District on Strong Island. Republican Carl Marcellino is fending off a challenge from James Gaughran. The Democrat already has the backing of NYSUT, the State Teacher’s union. But it was this post from Gaughran that left some Republican insiders confused:

0

Oh, and this:

0

Turns out, Gaughran actually served as outside counsel to Cablevision, which was locked in a very bitter dispute with CWA workers who Gaughran is now claiming to stand with. Now, to quote Don Corleone, “It doesn’t make any difference to me what a man does for a living. Understand.”

But certainly it seems, in the eyes of some, a little convenient to claim you stand with boots-on-the-ground union workers just a few days before Election Day. Candice Giove, a campaign spokeswoman for Senate Republicans says.


“Career candidate Jim Gaughran is certainly proud to fight alongside anyone who might get him his next paycheck, whether he’s using CWA union members as election props or earning a buck during the near decade he represented the management company that’s feuded with CWA.”

Democrats counter that CWA has endorsed Gaughran, and plan to phone bank for him this evening. In a statement, Dennis Trainor, a CWA Vice President says,

Carl Marcellino has spent his decades in Albany attacking unions and failing the hardworking men and women of Long Island. Jim Gaughran understands the issues facing struggling Long Island families, and our brothers and sisters in labor. We are proud to stand with Jim Gaughran and we will keep fighting to get him elected to the State Senate.

With Republican Marc Molinaro struggling to raise funds in his bid to topple Cuomo, the battleground in New York State appears to be shifting to the Senate, where Republicans hold a one seat majority. Democrats are mostly playing offense, which makes them confident. But even with a fundraising boost this last period, the resources are not unlimited. Democrats have to pick and choose where to spend that money. And some key races like this one in the 5th could determine whether they can actually capture control of the chamber.