ALBANY, N.Y. April 25, 2018 — Six candidates endorsed by New York State United Teachers won special elections Tuesday for state Senate and Assembly, demonstrating the power of the union’s ground game to help deliver victories for candidates who fight for public education, health care and a stronger middle class.
“These victories show the power of union activism. NYSUT members worked the phones and wore holes in their shoes on behalf of our endorsed candidates. Their efforts clearly made a difference,” said NYSUT President Andy Pallotta. “NYSUT members turned out the vote to ensure that working people have a strong voice in Albany to defend the interests of middle-class families and counter the wealthy elite and big corporations that want to cut public services so they have more for themselves.”
More than 400 NYSUT volunteers made thousands of phone calls and knocked on doors in the 37th Senate District, helping to propel former Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer to victory despite more than $1 million in contributions from out-of-state billionaires looking to destabilize local schools by draining money from them in order to open more charter schools.
“Once again, we saw the power of teachers, nurses, school bus drivers and others to swing an election by rolling up their sleeves and talking to voters one-on-one about issues that impact them. People-power trumps big, out-of-state contributions by billionaires any day,” Pallotta said.
Other NYSUT-endorsed candidates winning election included Steve Stern in the 10th Assembly District, where NYSUT members also volunteered their efforts, as well as Harvey Epstein in the 74th Assembly District; Ari Espinal in the 39th Assembly District; and Nathalia Fernandez in the 80th Assembly District.
In addition, former Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda coasted to victory with NYSUT’s support in the 32nd Senate District representing the Bronx.
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.