State Democratic leaders said Saturday that they will not pursue efforts to score a third-party line for Gov. Kathy Hochul on the November ballot after the progressive Working Families Party insisted it would not play spoiler in the race.
“I now have full confidence that the Working Families Party will stand with and offer their general election line” to Hochul “when she wins the Democratic Primary,” said Democratic Party Chairman Jay Jacobs, who previously suggested creating a second ballot line for the governor .
“With this anticipated WFP support, Governor Hochul will have the two lines necessary to match the Republican nominee, who we assume will also be on the Conservative line,” Jacobs added.
Earlier Saturday, New York WFP Director Sochie Nnaemeka said in a statement that the party “has no intention of playing a spoiler role, and we’re going to do everything we can to ensure Trump Republicans do not take power in New York.”
The WFP has already endorsed New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams for governor and activist Ana Maria Archilla for lieutenant governor.
It’s unclear what the WFP would do to get Williams off the November ballot if he loses the Democratic primary.
Under the state’s convoluted election laws, Williams as the designated WFP candidate, would have to agree to be replaced.
Williams and Archilla said in a statement that they “look forward to appearing on both” the Democratic and WFP lines in November but declined to say whether they’d take themselves off the WFP line if they lose the Democratic primary.
Before the rules were revised in 2021, one of the few ways a candidate could get off the ballot line was to run for another office – a move the WFP famously used during the 2018 gubernatorial race.
After WFP-backed Cynthia Nixon lost the 2018 Democratic primary to then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the WFP ran the actress in a race to unseat state Assemblywoman Deborah Glick (D-Manhattan). Although Glick was blindsided by the move, she won easily after Nixon did not actively campaign against her.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin ripped the potential Democrat-WFP alliance.
“The far-left Working Families Party wants free healthcare for illegal immigrants, non citizen voting, no cashless bail changes & more leniency for criminals all at the expense of law-abiding NYers,” the congressman tweeted. “So naturally, Kathy Hochul wants to cut the dirtiest of deals to align with them.”