ALBANY — The Working Families Party, a labor-allied group that tries to influence Democrats, has endorsed Sen. Elizabeth Warren for president and dropped its support of Sen. Bernie Sanders, the candidate it backed in 2016.
The endorsement should give a symbolic boost to Warren, of Massachusetts, with some progressives framing her — rather than Sanders — as their choice to challenge Joe Biden’s status as the front-runner for the Democratic nomination.
But the minor party has chapters in only 14 states, limiting its electoral impact nationally. Additionally, just five of the Democratic candidates had sought the party’s endorsement.
The WFP had worked hard for Sanders in the New York primary and elsewhere during the 2016 election cycle. In its announcement Monday, the party praised Sanders but said Warren now represents the left’s best chance at defeating Republican President Donald Trump. WFP officials said Warren won 61 percent of members’ votes; Sanders 36 percent.
“Elizabeth Warren is offering an agenda of real structural change. Not only does she have a plan for almost everything, but she realizes that plans alone are not enough,” the party said in its announcement. “This was a close vote, and it underscores the tough choice progressives face this year. We were proud to support Bernie Sanders in 2016, and we consider him a crucial ally in the fight for a more just world.”
The endorsement was announced just hours before a Warren rally at Washington Square Park in Manhattan.
Besides Warren and Sanders, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and former housing secretary Julián Castro also competed for the WFP nod. Combined, the latter three received about 3 percent of the vote, party officials said.