Zephyr Teachout, a candidate in the Democratic primary for state attorney general, rallied supporters in Hempstead on Friday evening with a promise to investigate the business practices of President Donald Trump.
“It is not enough to take on Donald Trump. We have deep problems in our society. But we need to take on Donald Trump with everything we have,” Teachout told an audience of about 80 people gathered inside the American Legion Post 390.
Teachout, 46, a Fordham law professor and activist, also vowed to be a watchdog against corruption in state government while also protecting student data and the right for students to opt out of standardized state testing.
Teachout, who has never held public office, ran a Democratic primary race in 2014 against Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in which she received more than 30 percent of the vote.
She was joined by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democratic nominee in the 14th Congressional District of Queens and the Bronx, and New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams, 42, of Brooklyn, who is a candidate for lieutenant governor.
Many in the audience came to see Ocasio-Cortez, 28, a political rising star since her June 26 defeat of Rep. Joseph Crowley, who has held the seat for nearly 20 years and was the fourth-highest ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives.
All three candidates urged voters to support their “progressive movement” and “fight” the Democratic establishment when they go to the polls on primary day, Sept. 13.
They say they do not believe their efforts are divisive, as their critics have often said.
“We are told to sit and wait our turn. Time and time again until we have no more turns left,” Ocasio-Cortez said, referring to Democratic committee leaders. “This is the year we transform the party.”
Jeannette Deutermann, an education activist from Bellmore and head of Long Island Opt-Out, said she attended the event and supports Teachout, particularly when it affects student testing, securing student data and opposing charter schools.
“We need someone who will have our back,” Deutermann said.
Mike Golan, 39, of Merrick said he came out to see the candidates because they represent “a wider progressive agenda that impacts working people.”
“To me these people represent a politics of the people as opposed to a political money,” said Golan, who is working on a doctorate in history at Cambridge University in England. “New York is a very corrupt state and it is Wall Street that is holding us back from being truly progressive.”