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Port Jefferson Station teachers endorse Green Party candidate for governor

Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for governor,

Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for governor, is seen in upstate Troy on Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014. Credit: AP / Mike Groll

A Long Island teachers’ union local unit that has been critical of Democrat Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has endorsed the Green Party candidate for governor.

The Port Jefferson Station Teachers Association will back Howie Hawkins, according to his campaign.

The local union has criticized the controversial Common Core academic standards and tests, which Cuomo backs, and endorsed liberal critic Zephyr Teachout in the September Democratic primary. So its decision to back Hawkins isn’t a surprise.

In a statement released by the Hawkins campaign, Beth Dimino, the Port Jefferson Station union president, called the Green candidate the “only pro-education candidate in this year’s governor’s race.”

“Teachers, parents and students have suffered for too long under Governor Cuomo’s empty budgets and attacks on their schools,” Dimino said. “We have confidence that Howie Hawkins and (Lt. Gov. candidate) Brian Jones will work to fully fund schools and support teachers."

Like Hawkins, Republican candidate Rob Astorino has said he would repeal Common Core.

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