Tuesday, August 19, 2014

No AFL-CIO endorsement for Cuomo

Posted By on Tue, Aug 19, 2014 at 11:42 AM

Governor Andrew Cuomo got a bit of bad news out of yesterday's AFL-CIO COPE convention: the union umbrella group's political action committee didn't give the sitting governor its endorsement. (The list of the endorsements it did make is available here.)

But the AFL-CIO didn't endorse any of Cuomo's challengers, either. While it's unlikely that the AFL-CIO would have backed Republican Rob Astorino, the members could have thrown the organization's endorsement to Zephyr Teachout, Cuomo's Democratic primary opponent.

Media reports say that the non-endorsement was driven by two strong factions of the AFL-CIO: the New York State United Teachers and the Public Employees Federation. PEF is backing Teachout; the organization's leaders endorsed her because of her law background and advocacy for breaking up big banks, says a press release from the union. NYSUT opted not to endorse a gubernatorial candidate. The union has been at odds with Cuomo over some of his education policies, including teacher evaluations and Cuomo's embrace of Common Core.

But the non-endorsement probably won't hurt Cuomo much. He's still got better name recognition than his opponents, the support of Democratic politicians and party leaders across the state, and bipartisan appeal. He's also got way more money than any of his challengers, and he's already started airing campaign ads.

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