1199SEIU, together with members of the Area Labor Federation, reinforced labor’s continued political power in New York’s Hudson Valley on Tuesday night, June 26th, when Sean Patrick Maloney won a 5-way Democratic primary for Congress in the new 18th District. Winning by a comfortable margin of 48% of the vote, Maloney will now challenge Republican Congresswoman and Tea Party candidate Nan Hayworth in November’s general election.
The primary was clearly won by the get out the vote (GOTV) effort of hundreds of union members. 1199 member political organizers (MPOs) hit the ground running in support of Maloney. In a 5-week period, they knocked on doors and phoned more than 6,000 people, and persuaded and identified 1,500 supporters for Maloney.
Lydia Schmidt, a Delegate at Vassar Brothers Hospital in Poughkeepsie, said, “It was hard work. We canvassed in the rain and in the extreme heat. But we were motivated every day knowing we have the opportunity to take back Congress and elect someone who will represent us, the 99 percent.”
“I spoke with many of my neighbors in my home town of Newburgh,” said Fina Alvarez, a Delegate at Elant Nursing Home. “Sean’s support of the Dream Act is very important to Latino/a voters. But if there was one thing everyone had in common, it was the desire to elect a representative who is committed to helping working families get back on their feet.”
In his victory speech at the Teamster Union Hall in Rock Tavern, Maloney said, “Let me say a word about the men and women of organized labor. I know it’s been a tough road lately. I know you’ve been beaten up and kicked around, by your old enemies and, worse, by some fair weather friends. I know others wrecked this economy and now want to place the blame on a lot of you. It’s been unfair.
And I want you to know something: I have watched you work. I have seen your dignity, your spirit. I have felt your commitment to something better, something just and fair. You represent the very heart of America. I am sick and tired of people running down working people. You represent the patriotic idea that working together we can build something better – a better community where we all get a fair shot and all do our fair share.”
1199 MPO Joe Stratford said, “It was an honor to work to elect Maloney and I am looking forward to doing more for the November election. Nan Hayworth wants to end Medicare. She has no problem giving millionaires and oil companies big tax cuts. We need Sean Patrick Maloney to protect us ordinary working folks and I feel it is my obligation to help elect him to Congress.”
Sean Patrick Maloney was also endorsed by former President and current Westchester resident, Bill Clinton. Maloney was part of the Clinton White House team in the 90’s, when the economy thrived.