ALBANY, N.Y. Sept. 18, 2017 — New York State United Teachers today announced that its Board of Directors has unanimously recommended to its national affiliates the endorsement of Rick Gallant in his bid for New York’s 23rd congressional seat.
Gallant, a veteran teacher and coach, has worked in the Corning-Painted Post School District for 17 years. The Board’s decision to move so early in a 2018 race underscores NYSUT’s unequivocal support of Gallant’s candidacy in next year’s Democratic primary and in the general election against incumbent Republican Tom Reed. The recommendation will now be forwarded to the union’s national affiliates, the National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers.
“This is a critical time for public education in both our state and nation, and we need representatives who will stand up for students and educators,” said NYSUT President Andrew Pallotta. “As a teacher, Rick Gallant has dedicated his life to ensuring all students have the opportunity to succeed, and as a unionist, he has fought relentlessly to improve the lives of working people. NYSUT is extremely proud to emphatically recommend Rick Gallant’s endorsement.”
A past president of the Corning Teachers’ Association, Gallant is an at-large NYSUT Board member. In that capacity, he represents 150 local unions — composed of teachers, teaching assistants, bus drivers, monitors, custodians and clerical staff — across Western New York and the Southern Tier.
A former longtime assistant college basketball coach and sports writer, Gallant also has held teaching and coaching positions in Idaho, Washington, Ohio and Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Amy, are the parents of two daughters.
“I am very honored and humbled to receive NYSUT’s support,” Gallant said. “This will be a difficult race to win, but we have seen what can be accomplished when we all work together toward a common goal.”
NYSUT’s early move to recommend support for Gallant aims to jump-start his campaign, as volunteers will be working phone banks, handing out literature and going door-to-door on the candidate’s behalf from now up to next year’s general election.
“I believe each of us as citizens has a responsibility to step up in some way,” said Gallant. “And, in keeping with my coaching philosophy, I believe that by working together, we have a real opportunity to win.”
New York State United Teachers is a statewide union with more than 600,000 members in education, human services and health care. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.