From the Morning Memo:

Progressive advocates over the last year have notched primary victories on the local level. And now they want to grow those victories around the state.

It started last year with the upset primary win of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — primary victories by progressive advocates who have challenged incumbents. Rosemary Rivera of the progressive group Citizen Action says it’s due to voters being unhappy with the status quo.

Three months later, Democratic incumbents in the Legislature, including those who had aligned themselves with Republicans, lost their primaries to progressive challengers.

“I think people are ready for transformational change is what it is and incremental change is something that been keeping communities far from the process,” said Rivera, the group’s co-executive director. “They want fast, rapid change. Something that is transformational and different.”

And advocates hope the success will spread to upstate primary races. Just last week, progressive Tiffany Caban upset the establishment candidate to win the Queens district attorney race. But Republicans, including their new chairman Nick Langworthy, see an opportunity.

“The Democrats literally nominated a chief law enforcement officer — AOC with a badge — who doesn’t want to enforce the law and credited her win with the inmates on Riker’s Island,” Langworthy said in his remarks at the party’s meeting this week in Albany.

Still, progressives outside of New York City point to successes in this year’s off-cycle local elections, including campaigns for Rochester city council and Hudson mayor.

“The people who are not necessarily who people think are going to win are winning,” Rivera said. “It’s starting to feel a little like Queens in Rochester.”

For now these primary victories for progressives haven’t spread statewide. Look no further than Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s success against Cynthia Nixon last year, who spent heavily in the race last year and won by a comfortable margin.

Progressives say that race, however, nudged Cuomo’s agenda. Cuomo’s team has disputed this. On issues like marijuana legalization, for example, Cuomo backed the idea prior to the launch of Nixon’s campaign in 2018.

“The Cynthia Nixon campaign moved his agenda and it became an agenda of the people,” Rivera said.