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  • true blue rally

    A 'True Blue' rally (photo: @indivisibleny13)


    Prior to September 13, primary day, the True Blue coalition, made up of progressive activists from about 60 individual groups across the state, had one main goal: to depose all eight state Senators of the erstwhile Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) and another rogue Democratic Senator from Brooklyn, Simcha Felder, all of whom have bolstered and voted with the Republican majority. But after emerging victorious in six of those races, most of which came as a surprise, the activist network is turning its newfound influence and

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  • biaggi victory first pump

    Alessandra Biaggi celebrates (photo: @Biaggi4NY)


    Hit the ground early. Educate the electorate. Reach new voters. Go viral.

    Those are a few of the strategies that propelled insurgent candidates to victory in last week’s primary elections, wherein six challengers prevailed over sitting Democratic state senators who were once members of the Independent Democratic Conference, a breakaway faction that caucused with Republicans for seven years, creating or padding the GOP majority in the chamber.

    The upsets in the state Senate races instantly

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  • cuomo voting 2018 primary

    Gov. Cuomo voting in Thursday's primary (photo: @NYGovCuomo)


    The Democratic gubernatorial primary between Governor Andrew Cuomo and Cynthia Nixon saw a significant surge in voter participation, but turnout still stood at only 27 percent of active registered Democrats.

    Compared to the 2014 primary election, when Zephyr Teachout challenged Cuomo, who was then seeking a second term, turnout more than doubled, according to preliminary numbers. And, turnout spiked slightly more in New York City than elsewhere. Specifically, 28 percent of registered

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  • cuomo james hochul

    (photo: @andrewcuomo)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo won the Democratic nomination by a wide margin Thursday, with his running-mate Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul surviving a much closer race, Public Advocate Letitia James prevailing comfortably in a crowded Attorney General primary, and more than half a dozen upsets of sitting state Senators, including six of the eight former members of the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC).

    Additionally, voter turnout was significantly higher than 2014, the last gubernatorial election year, perhaps owing to the

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  • 32BJ for Biaggi

    photo: @32BJSEIU


    As Alessandra Biaggi, a first-time candidate for office, attempts to unseat Democratic state Senator Jeff Klein, once the powerful leader of a rogue faction of Democratic senators, a prominent labor union is pulling no punches to ensure that her insurgent campaign prevails in the September 13 primary.

    The property services workers union, 32BJ SEIU, which boasts more than 160,000 members and is a regular political heavyweight, has been aggressively courting voters and spending money to help Biaggi defeat Klein, a Democrat the union once backed. A force in

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  • biaggi stringer subway

    Alessandra Biaggi, right (photo: @Biaggi4NY)


    Though the entire New York State Legislature -- 150 Assembly seats and 63 Senate seats -- is on the ballot this year, there is a small number of competitive races to be decided during next week’s primary election on Thursday, September 13. In several key districts, mostly in New York City, insurgent challengers are attempting to unseat sitting Democrats in a sweeping effort to shake up state government, prompting the incumbents to raise and spend money accordingly. All the candidates filed the last round of pre-primary

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  • mxm logo

    Ben Max, left, of Gotham Gazette, and Jarrett Murphy, right, of City Limits


    August 29, 2018 - Max & Murphy Podcast: An Intense Queens Senate Primary with Jessica Ramos and Senator Jose Peralta

    podcast ramos perlata 277Jessica Ramos is challenging state Senator Jose Peralta in the Democratic primary, in a Queens district with a large immigrant population. Ramos, then Peralta joined the

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  • alcantara jackson leon

    Sen. Alcántara, Jackson, & Leon (l-r) during the MNN debate


    Roughly three weeks before the September 13 primary elections, three candidates running for the Democratic nomination in state Senate District 31 – an area that spans the west coast of Midtown and the Upper West Side before encompassing most of Northern Manhattan – debated the incumbent’s involvement with the now defunct Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) and discussed some of the district’s most pressing issues, including those regarding transit, public and affordable housing, and

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  • myrie w congressmembers via indivisble bk

    Zellnor Myrie receives the endorsement of Rep. Clarke, among others (photo: @BKIndivisible)


    A wide swath of central Brooklyn is hosting its second contentious Democratic primary race this year. After a surprisingly close congressional primary in June, voters in a largely overlapping state Senate district will vote in September in another race where an incumbent is facing an upstart challenger.

    Brooklyn Congressional District 9...

  • marisol alcantara reelect

    Sen. Alcántara, middle (photo: @NY31Alcantara)


    Both are Democrats with a steady history of politics and activism in New York. Both graduated from in-state universities and began their careers by working with labor unions. Both are people of color and have participated in the political arena while being the only one of their demographic in the room. On virtually every policy issue, they agree, yet the two -- Marisol Alcántara and Robert Jackson -- are engaged in a nasty political race that will be decided on primary election day, September 13.

    Alcántara is the

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  • mxm logo

    Ben Max, left, of Gotham Gazette, and Jarrett Murphy, right, of City Limits


    August 8, 2018 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Queens State Senate Rematch Features Different Kinds of Democrats, with Senator Tony Avella and challenger John Liu

    tony avella john liu wbai 277 bState Senator Tony Avella says he decided to become part of the Independent Democratic Conference, which entered into a

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  • Cuomo Klein Stewart-Cousins

    Gov. Cuomo, center, with Sens. Stewart-Cousins, left, & Klein (photo: The Governor's Office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo says he wants Democrats to take control of the state Senate and, in reunifying two factions to be able to focus on flipping Republican seats, he publicly offered support for senators who once made up the Independent Democratic Conference, a group of breakaway Democrats that until April held a years-long power-sharing agreement with Republicans.

    Cuomo and the leaders of the two Senate groups -- mainline conference leader Senator

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  • Cynthia Nixon, Jummane Williams, and Alessandra Biaggi

    Cynthia Nixon (left), Alessandra Biaggi (top right), Bill Lipton & Jumaane Williams (bottom)


    The Working Families Party celebrated its 20th anniversary last month at Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg, with its rank-and-file cheering on a line up of politicians that have served as standard bearers, past and present. But it’s the future of the party that is especially uncertain as the upstart liberal organization lays it all on the line in backing insurgent candidates in state elections this year.

    In doing so,

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  • mxm logo

    Ben Max, left, of Gotham Gazette, and Jarrett Murphy, right, of City Limits


    August 1, 2018 - Max & Murphy Podcast: The Epicenter of the Fight Over the IDC, with guests State Senator Marisol Alcántara and challenger Robert Jackson

    marisol alcantara robert jackson stateMarisol Alcántara won a close, competitive four-way Democratic primary in 2016 to take her seat in the state

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  • liu and ramos via jessicaramos

    John Liu and Jessica Ramos (photo: @JessicaRamos)


    The deadline for candidates for state office to file their latest campaign finance disclosures with the state Board of Elections was Monday, July 16. The disclosures show candidate fundraising and expenditures from the last six months, from January to July.

    All 213 seats in the state Legislature -- 150 Assembly and 63 Senate -- are on the ballot this year, but few incumbents face competitive races. The state Assembly is overwhelmingly composed of Democrats, most of whom do not have a

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  • corey johnson jessica ramos robert jackson cityhall

    Corey Johnson endorses IDC challengers (photo: Gotham Gazette)


    As progressives aggressively attempt to wrest control of the Democratic Party from the hands of those they call centrists and establishment politicians, elected Democrats across New York find themselves in an unenviable position. Abiding by their self-professed progressive values to support insurgent Democratic primary challengers could mean bucking the state party establishment and its leader, Governor Andrew Cuomo, while, on the

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  • Cuomo

    Gov. Cuomo (photo: Governor's Office)


    On March 19, New York’s gubernatorial race intensified when actor and activist Cynthia Nixon declared her candidacy. The incumbent, Governor Andrew Cuomo, shifted into high gear, chasing down endorsements from all quarters. He got a few -- a Senator, some labor unions, an old rock star who doesn’t live in New York. All fine and good, but where are the endorsements from the New York City Council, the Public Advocate, City Comptroller and borough presidents? Even more curious, where are the endorsements from the 133 people who

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  • Cuomo Klein IDC Stewart-Cousins

    Stewart-Cousins, Cuomo, and Klein at unity event (photo: Govenor's Office)


    In May 2014, Governor Andrew Cuomo attempted to earn the last-minute endorsement of The Working Families Party with a video address at its nominating convention. As Cuomo sought a second term that year, he made a series of promises demanded by WFP members and received the party’s backing and ballot line. The deal with frustrated progressive activists and labor union leaders, who make up the WFP, was in part brokered by Mayor Bill de Blasio after the WFP threatened

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  • Jesse Hamilton IDC

    Members of the IDC, including Sen. Hamilton (center), and others (photo: @IDC4NY)


    A recent phone poll surveying residents of Senator Jesse Hamilton’s Brooklyn district asked residents to react to a number of statements associating the Independent Democratic Conference with President Donald Trump, among a variety of other questions, according to two residents of the district.

    The polling was conducted “on behalf of a Democrat regarding state Senate elections in September 2018” by the Florida-based Kalamata Group, one resident, who took meticulous notes during

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  • IDC opponents

    Zellnor Myrie, center, and other IDC challengers


    The Working Families Party is escalating its efforts to unseat members of the breakaway Independent Democratic Conference of the New York State Senate. The WFP, a progressive political party that regularly cross-endorses Democrats, is rolling out additional endorsements of candidates challenging IDC members in this year’s elections, which include all the seats in the state Legislature.

    The IDC has a power-sharing agreement with Senate Republicans that helps keep the GOP in control of the upper chamber of

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  • jackson ramos presser

    Jessica Ramos and Robert Jackson


    The eight-member Independent Democratic Conference of the New York State Senate has drawn increasing ire from Democrats around the state, especially in New York City. Democratic senators who have broken away from their colleagues in the regular Democratic conference, IDC senators form a power-sharing agreement with Senate Republicans, helping the GOP enhance its razor thin majority. The Senate is the only current Republican stronghold in state government.

    Several factors, including the election of

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  • mxm logo

    Ben Max, left, of Gotham Gazette, and Jarrett Murphy, right, of City Limits


    February 26, 2018 - Max & Murphy Podcast: IDC Challengers Robert Jackson & Jessica Ramos

    ramos jackson podcast 277

    Jessica Ramos and Robert Jackson have launched Democratic primary challenges to two state senators who are members of the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC), a group of eight breakaway

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  • jasmine robinson idc

    photo: Jasmine Robinson


    State Senator Diane Savino, a founding member of the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC), may be facing a challenge in the Democratic primary this fall.

    Jasmine “Jasi” Robinson, 38, a legal secretary and community activist from Port Richmond, told Gotham Gazette she is mulling a run for the 23rd Senate District that encompasses the North Shore of Staten Island and a sliver of southern Brooklyn, citing the anti-IDC movement among progressives as her inspiration.

    Robinson, who has lived in the district her

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  • zellnor myrie event

    Zellnor Myrie at a campaign event (photo: @zellnor4ny)


    Despite a tentative unity deal between the Senate Democratic conference and the breakaway Democrats in the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC), a number of progressives are pushing forward in their bids to unseat the so-called “turncoat Democrats.”

    Challengers of the eight-member IDC, which forms a ruling coalition government with Senate Republicans, say they have drummed up broad grassroots support, as evidenced by pulling impressive fundraising numbers over a short period of time, with

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  • election polling place Brooklyn

    a polling place (photo: Samar Khurshid/Gotham Gazette)


    This year will be another busy, contentious election year for New Yorkers. While 2017 saw the majority of elections confined to local government, 2018 will see three election days and races for state-level offices, including five of six statewide positions and all of the state Legislature, as well as all of the state’s delegation to the House of Representatives.

    A fourth election day ...