Reflections on the Primary Election Just Past

Grassroots. From the Bottom to the Top

Grassroots. From the Bottom to the Top

September 13th has come and gone, and I get about 48 hours of reflection before I have to get going on the November General Election. Here are a few thoughts that have gone through my mind.

One of the things I spend a lot of time doing is training people who are candidates, want to be candidates, or who are just plain interested in what it takes to be a candidate. It takes a lot of time and while it is hard work, it is incredibly satisfying.

If you’ve ever wondered about the importance of the campaign trainings that WFP does for new and prospective candidates, look no further.

They’re the reason David Valesky, Assistant Leader of the IDC – those traitorous Democrats who supported Republican control of the NYS Senate since 2011 – is heading to the unemployment line.

Rachel May, the WFP endorsed Democrat who beat him in last Thursday’s Primary, is a graduate of that program. And maybe is its valedictorian student – proof that a seemingly small event can lead to a great outcome.

The Primary of 2018 is over. And, in the Working Families Party’s Upstate Region, we showed the power that Progressive Ideas and lots of hard work have in the fight to save America.

We scored victory after victory, each striking a small blow to the tyranny and corruption that has become pervasive in our government. It is why I joined the Working Families Party. They are the reason I get up every morning and manage the Upstate Region as Political Director.

Here’s our scorecard.

First, Rachel May of Syracuse defeated Incumbent David Senator David Valesky in Senate District 53. Valesky had to go, and Rachel … who may be the best candidate I have ever worked with … worked tirelessly with her team; Zach Zellif as campaign Manager and Eric Van  der Vort, Press Director, to give Upstate its greatest victory against immeasurable odds.

Then, there’s Tistrya Houghteling in Assembly District 107. This seat represents all most of Columbia County, most of Rensselaer County and a tiny corner of Washington County. Once again – against all odds – the WFP endorsed Democrat soundly defeated her opponent, Don Boyajian, 4077 to 3005. Boyajian bragged that his $250,000 war chest left over from his failed Congressional race was reason enough to be nominated as challenger to the Republicans. Voters thought differently.

But that’s not all that went on in Rensselaer County. Because of the importance the WFP line holds in the General Election in November, Republicans tried once again to steal the WFP line with primary campaigns (otherwise known as OTBs). The tried to take the WFP line from Carole Weaver in Troy who is running for RensCo Legislator in LD 1. And they tried it against Mary Pat Donnelly who is running to unseat corrupt DA Joel Abelove.

We won both the primaries. In large part due to the incredible work State Committee member Phil Markham did. Again, proof that one person can make a huge difference in outcome!

The Capital District is not the only place where people were trying to steal the WFP label over the wishes of the local WFP membership. In Syracuse, endorsed City Court Judge candidate Shadia Tadros beat back a WFP primary from her opponent, soundly defeating challenger Ann Magnerelli. Shadia also is just 20 votes or so behind in the race for the Democratic line in November’s election with hundreds of Absentee ballots to open.

Shadia – a political newcomer and incredible campaigner -- will become Upstate’s first Arab American office holder!

A huge victory in some part thanks to the efforts of the new activism by Syracuse’s local WFP Committee.

All eyes were on the Cynthia Nixon & Jumaane Williams campaigns, of course. And short of winning – we hoped to break 40%. Time and time again in County after County … Onondaga County, Cayuga County, Wayne County, St. Lawrence County, Schenectady County and more -- all got well over 40% for CN. Jumaane actually WON Columbia County!!!!

So now it’s on to the November election in 49 days. The rest is history … but pretty good history.

“We got half a million Democrats saying ‘no' to Cuomo,” said Nixon consultant Rebecca Katz. “That ain’t nothing.”