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WFP urges liberals to back Cuomo as he may face another challenge
ALBANY — The liberal Working Families Party that narrowly endorsed Andrew M. Cuomo for governor is now encouraging progressives not to support the continuing effort by the upstart novice who lost to the governor.
Zephyr Teachout, a Fordham law professor, is continuing to explore a challenge to Cuomo, but this time through a Democratic primary.
On Wednesday she told Newsday she wants to lead the argument for liberal measures through the campaign, which she said includes criticism of Cuomo. She is seeking to raise enough campaign money to collect petitions and force Cuomo into a September primary.
That prompted a response Friday by Bill Lipton of the Working Families Party, which endorsed Cuomo in May after a bitter floor debate.
“We encourage progressives to support Governor Cuomo in the Democratic primary and vote for him on the Working Families line in November,” said Lipton, the minor party’s state director.
“Our priority is to work in coalition with community groups, advocacy organizations, unions and elected officials across the state, including Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo to win a Democratic-Working Families Senate Majority.”
Cuomo had fought hard for the important minor party’s endorsement against strong opposition by some liberal leaders. After numerous party members spoke about how they feel Cuomo abandoned some of their liberal policy goals, Cuomo agreed to support the Working Families Party political platform.
Among the measures, Cuomo agreed to help unseat the Senate Republicans led by co-leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) from a share of the Senate majority.
Cuomo ended up beating Teachout 59 percent to 41.3 percent.
Teachout didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. The Cuomo campaign declined to comment.