Special Election Victories

April 26, 2018

When we vote, we win! In the April 24th Special Election, 1199 members proved again that when we make our collective voices heard by voting, we can elect strong leaders who embrace our 1199 commitment to opportunity and fairness for all.

Here’s what our door-knocking, phone calls and member volunteer recruitment accomplished!

Senate District 37 - Shelley Mayer


The election spotlight was on Senate District 37 in Westchester, where our longtime supporter and endorsed candidate Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer won handily over Julie Killian. Shelley will replace George Latimer, who was elected Westchester County Executive last November.

Our legendary 1199 purple could be found everywhere, as we talked to members and helped turn out the vote! In fact, our visibility and effort was recognized by Shelley during her victory speech! Also in Westchester, 1199 members supported Terry Clements for an open seat on the county legislature; it is expected she will be declared the winner in the next few days.


SpecElectionWins_fa.jpgIn New York City, 1199 members put boots on the ground to mobilize voters in three boroughs. All four of our candidates won, which means we will see exciting new faces in the NYS Assembly! They are: Ari Espinal, in Queens (AD 39), Harvey Epstein, in Manhattan (AD 74), and Nathalia Fernandez in the Bronx (AD 80). Joining Shelley Mayer in the Senate will be Assemblymember Luis Sepulveda, Bronx (SD 32).

In the Capital Region, (AD 102), EMT and county legislator Aidan O’Conner is about 200 votes behind his opponent, with 18,000 votes cast. The race will be determined next week after the absentee ballots are counted.


In addition to our victories, the defeat of our candidate Patrick Burke in the Buffalo area (AD 142 ) tells an important story. Patrick lost to an opponent backed by infamous NYS billionaire Carl Palladino, known for his fierce anti-worker, anti-immigration and overall extremist ideologies. This is the type of challenge that we face in many places, on local, state and national levels — well funded attacks on so much that is important to us. Despite the loss, 1199ers showed great strength in the effort to push back and protect our rights and livelihoods.


Challenges Ahead

There are important elections ahead in September and November. We will continue to be challenged by right-wing ideologues like Patrick Burke’s opponent, who support Trump-like policies that threaten our ability to live and work with dignity. With that in mind, it has never been more important to continue our work and elect candidates like Shelley Mayer and the entire 1199 Special Election slate, who are not afraid to stand up for what it is right.

Onward, to the next elections, where will again make our voices and votes count by electing candidates who stand up for measures that protect quality health care and support all working people, with fairness and dignity for all.