City Council Member Jumaane Williams (D-Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood) candidacy for New York’s Lieutenant Governor is picking up steam, but he stopped short of endorsing who many think is his progressive politcal running mate for governor – former Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon.
In New York, different from say the presidential elections where a presidential and vice presidential candidate run on the same ticket, the governor and the lieutenant governor run separately.
“I know I’m not supporting Gov. Cuomo,” said Williams. “We [Nixon and himself] travel in the same circles and our messages are similar, but the decision [to support each other] from either one of our campaigns have not been addressed.”
Williams said he has also had some conversations from the Mayor Bill de Blasio campaign team that is now working with Nixon, but there were no formal substantive talks.
Among the items the two have in common is nabbing the recent Working Families Party endorsement, although several major unions including 32BJ SEIU, the United Federation Of Teachers, 1199SEIU and the Hotel Trades Council dropped out of the WFP, splintering progressive advocacy organizations from much of organized labor.
“I am proud to have the official endorsement of the Working Families Party. In a democracy where every voice matters, the Working Families Party fights for people from all walks of life from all across our state. Theis endorsement gives our campaign tremendous momentum and grassroots resources in every corner of the State. It will help us achieve our goal of delivering our message to each and every progressive Democratic voter before Election Day,” said Williams upon receiving the endorsement.
Williams said he has always enjoyed strong union support and yesterday picked up his first union endorsement from DC 1707, which represents community and social agency employees and traces its origin to 1932 when employees in the independent Federation of Jewish Philanthropies formed the Association of Federation Workers.
Williams says his main focus at the moment is to continue to build his campaign team so come petition time this summer he will have three or four times the 15,000 signatures, including at least 100 signatures from half the state’s 32 counties, to get on the ballot for the Sept. 13 primary.
After that he looks forward to debating current Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul or whomever else is on the ballot. “I would love a debate with whoever is running and focus on what that office has done, and how that office has been perceived for years. Whoever Cuomo picks to run will be his lieutenant governor and I believe we need the people’s lieutenant governor,” said Williams.
Williams said he also expects to get a good vote from his home borough Brooklyn, and termed the entire city’s vote critical to his election.
“We see a viable path to victory and we have the wind at our back,” he said.