November 06, 2019

Huge effort pays off for union members in Elections 2019

Author: Ned Hoskin and NYSUT Legislative Staff
Source:  NYSUT Communications
elections 2019

In the early morning hours after the polls closed Tuesday, NYSUT’s leadership team tweeted thanks to “all who did the right thing at the polls,” and gave a shout out to those who took advantage of the new, NYSUT-backed early voting law.

“Extra special thanks goes to the many candidates who came through NYSUT’s Pipeline training to run for local office,” said President Pallotta. “You truly make a difference!”

NYSUT’s Regional Political Organizers, in collaboration with field staff, PAC Coordinators and retirees, were involved in dozens of races across the state and elected at least 25 NYSUT members to office.

Dedicated union members and staff worked vigorously for weeks to help elect pro-education candidates who will work to advance the priorities of the labor movement across the state. Thank you to everyone who volunteered by phone banking and walking.

NYSUT continues its post-election analysis, but we know in the districts where we were most active, we had a very good night. Here are some highlights from around the state:


Second time candidate Matt Miller, president of the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk TA, was elected to the Albany County Legislature.  Matt is a graduate of NYSUT’s Pipeline training program and received support from the Albany Central Labor Council.


Our members in NYC saw victories in several priority races.  UFT members worked tirelessly to help elect Melinda Katz in a contested race for Queens County District Attorney. Other victories included electing Farah Louis to the NYC City Council.  UFT and PSC also assisted in Jumaane Williams victory in the special election for Public Advocate. 


Seven NYSUT members were elected to various levels of office in the Tarrytown and Mid-Hudson Regions last night.  Long time former local president Ralph Smith was successfully elected to the Putnam Valley Town Council by a five-point margin.  Pat Carroll, an AFT member, received support from the Clarkstown Teachers Association and their work paid off, as Pat secured a spot on the Clarkstown Town Board by a comfortable five-point margin.  Three additional victories were graduates of NYSUT’s successful pipeline program – congratulations to Jenn Puja on her election to the White Plains Common Council, Ruth Walter for Westchester County Legislature and Virginia Scott in her election to the Cornwall Town Council.

In a race that is too close to call, Barbara Pallazzo came up six votes short of victory Tuesday night.  We will be monitoring the absentee ballot counts. 


United University Professions (UUP) member Angela Riley was successful in her bid for Binghamton City Council.  Running with the support of the Binghamton Teachers Association, Angela garnered over 74 percent of the vote in a decisive victory over her opponent. 


The Faculty Association of Suffolk Community College issued endorsements in seventeen county legislative races.  As of this morning, sixteen of their endorsed candidates were successful, with one race still being too close to call. NYSUT Board member Barbara Hafner should also be commended for her hard work and commitment despite her unsuccessful bid for the Nassau County Legislature.


The Faculty Association of Monroe Community College was deeply invested in several races for County Legislature.  With a goal of transforming the Monroe County Legislature, they fell one seat short of victory picking up only two of the three seats needed. Congratulations to NYSUT member John Baynes who was one of the victors in last night’s election.  The entire Rochester Region mobilized in support of Adam Bello for County Executive.  They were victorious last night in electing him – the first Democrat to hold the position in nearly thirty years.


Our Western New York members worked tirelessly to elect several NYSUT members to various levels of office.  NYSUT Board Member Joe Cantafio was elected to the West Seneca Town Council.  Congratulations are also in order for members of the Faculty Association of Erie Community College.  The SUNY ECC Students Deserve Campaign was influential in electing NYSUT member Lisa Chimera to the Erie County Legislature, as well as Kevin Hardwick and John Gilmour.

In Niagara County, NYSUT members running for office had a successful night.  Christopher Robins and Anita Mullane were both elected to the Niagara County Legislature, and Michelle Roman was elected as Lockport Mayor.  For Mullane, the mobilization of 106 NYSUT members secured her 93 vote margin of victory.


Thank you to everyone who volunteered for our candidates by phone banking and walking, and thank you to everyone who came out to vote and supported all of our union endorsed candidates. 

Additional election results are available on the Board of Elections website: