Primaries signal a progressive wave in NY

Stephon Johnson | 9/20/2018, 10:38 a.m.
Let New York City Gov. Andrew Cuomo tell it and the rumored progressive wave is just a ripple. But outside ...

But while Cuomo could be assured that things were fine at the top, the Senate primaries saw the dismantling of the Independent Democratic Conference that aligned itself with Republicans in the Senate.

Former New York City Council Member Robert Jackson defeated New York State Sen. Marisol Alcantara; former Hillary Clinton Campaign Operations Director Alessandra Biaggi beat incumbent Jeff Klein; Jessica Ramos, a community organizer, defeated Jose Peralta; and Zellnor Myrie beat New York State Sen. Jesse Hamilton.

Out of all of the IDC losses, Klein’s could be considered the biggest. Biaggi’s victory in District 34 in the Bronx and Westchester ousted the architect of the IDC, which denied progressives their agenda in Albany this decade. Klein was also accused of sexual misconduct earlier this year.

“If this doesn’t prove that political currency is people over money, I do not know what does,” Biaggi said at her victory party last Thursday. “We have now cut the head of the IDC snake.”

Biaggi’s platform includes advocating for single-payer health care, ending cash bail and decriminalizing sex work. Klein spent $2 million trying to keep Biaggi at bay, but it was all for naught.

“Alessandra Biaggi’s victory is, first and foremost, a win for working families in Westchester and the Bronx,” said Figueroa. “This victory proves that principled, committed, real Democrats can beat disloyal incumbents, matching up people power against money. When unions like 32BJ engage, inform and educate our union members about the importance of elections, and the impact that policy has in our lives, our democracy grows stronger and we all win.”

In other elections, John Liu defeated Tony Avella, Julia Salazar ousted Martin Dilan, Andrea Stewart-Cousins roundly defeated Virginia Perez, Rodneyse Bichotte beat Victor Jordan and Charles Barron won his primary over Jaytee Spurgeon.