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ALBANY -- A Democrat is announcing her effort to win the Working Families Party nomination for governor as the minor, liberal party struggles over whether to endorse Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
Fordham University Law professor Zephyr Teachout on Friday announced her candidacy on a new website as the party prepares to make its nomination Saturday.
Teachout’s announcement comes a day after New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York’s liberal leader, made a public pitch to the Working Families Party to endorse Cuomo.
The party holds its nominating convention this weekend and is expected to nominate a candidate for governor on Saturday.
Four years ago, the minor party endorsed Cuomo. But a faction of the party is upset over some of Cuomo’s fiscal policies such as tax breaks for corporations and for coming up short in some liberal goals, including working to flip the Senate to a Democratic majority.
“I'm seeking the WFP nomination because New Yorkers deserve an economy and democracy that works for all of us, not just the wealthy and well-connected,” she said in a statement Friday. “The system is rigged for the rich and powerful, and as part of that broken system, Andrew Cuomo isn't going to fix it. People's voices aren't being heard.”
“Cuomo not only failed to do anything real to prevent wealthy and corporate donors from buying our politicians, but proposed severe cuts in education funding while giving massive tax breaks to bankers and billionaires,” she said.
Zephyr wouldn’t be running to win the governor’s office, but to send a message to Cuomo and other Democrats in Albany about the power of the liberal voice.
There was no immediate comment from Cuomo’s campaign.
If Cuomo doesn’t get the Working Families Party endorsement, it wouldn’t likely impact his chances in November. The minor party provided him about 150,000 votes four years ago and he attracted more than 2 million total votes. But the liberal party support could help him in any 2016 run from the Democratic nomination for president, should he decide to run.
Zephyr was raised in Vermont “with four siblings, sheep, chickens and a pig named Budweiser,” according to her website.
The Brooklyn resident had been an organizer in 2004 for Howard Dean’s failed presidential campaign.