WFP endorses three IDC challengers

Claire Lorenzo
Alessandra Biaggi

WFP endorses three IDC challengers

The Working Families Party endorsed Alessandra Biaggi, Jessica Ramos and Rachel May
February 15, 2018

The New York Working Families Party has offered its support to progressive candidates like Bill de Blasio, Laura Curran and Zephyr Teachout (the second time around). The WFP is now bringing the fight to senators in the Independent Democratic Conference, its longtime foil, by endorsing three candidates launching primary campaigns against IDC members. These appear to be the first endorsements the WFP has announced in 2018.

An endorsement by the WFP is considered a confirmation of a candidate’s progressive ideals – just ask Gov. Andrew Cuomo, circa 2014. Despite giving their endorsement to Cuomo over Teachout in 2014, the WFP does not seem to approve of the plan backed by the governor to reunify the IDC and mainline Democrats, as it is actively supporting IDC challengers. On Thursday, the party endorsed Alessandra Biaggi, who is challenging IDC leader Jeff Klein, as well as Jessica Ramos and Rachel May, who are running against state Sens. Jose Peralta and David Valesky respectively.


Biaggi, a former counsel to Cuomo and campaign aide for Hillary Clinton in 2016, said in a January interview with City & State that she considered the IDC to be a “threat to progressive politics in New York.” Apparently, the WFP agrees.

Ramos was previously a communications aide to Cuomo’s rival, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, before deciding to take on Peralta in December. Ramos is clearly trying to capitalize on grassroots progressive sentiment in the city, as her first endorsement on Feb. 10 was from activist group People for Bernie.

Meanwhile, Peralta was endorsed by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union on Thursday.

Rachel May, a longtime political activist and director of Sustainability Education at Syracuse University, launched her primary bid against Valesky in January. Valesky is the only member of the IDC not from New York City or its surrounding suburbs.

Grace Segers
is City & State’s digital reporter. She writes daily content on New York City and New York state politics.