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New York News

Working Families Party Urges Reluctant Members To Vote WFP Line For Cuomo

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If New York Governor Andrew Cuomo wins reelection on Tuesday, he’s likely to continue to have tensions with the left-leaning members of his party.

Cuomo was endorsed by the progressive Working Families Party, after he promised to work for a Democratic State Senate, among other things. But in recent weeks, the alliance has frayed, with Cuomo pushing voters to cast ballots on a new line that the governor created, the Women’s Equality Party, known on the ballot as WEP, instead of the Working Families’ WFP line. Cuomo, in an interview on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show, also referred to Working Families as a  “fringe” party, though he later walked back the remark.

The governor also said a meeting of an education commission he’s formed that public schools are the last “public monopoly” and that he intends to take them on if he’s reelected, angering the teachers unions and others.   

WFP co-director Karen Scharff acknowledges that many of her own party members might be too annoyed to vote for Cuomo, but she urges voters to choose the line anyway, saying the party needs to survive to challenge the state’s top Democrat, when necessary.

“It allows us to stand with him when we agree, and stand up to him when we disagree,” Scharff said. “And that’s the important thing about having a separate party.”

If the Working Families Party fails to garner 50,000 votes, the group will lose its right to be automatically on the ballot, and will have to petition for a place instead. 

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