WFP on Christine Pellegrino Victory: “This is how we win in Trump country”
NEW YORK, NY – Bill Lipton, New York State Director of the Working Families Party, made the following statement following tonight’s victory for WFP candidate Christine Pellegrino in the special election New York’s 9th Assembly District on Long Island:
“Bold progressive populism that puts working people’s issues front and center — this is how we win in Trump country. This is an amazing night for the New York State United Teachers and the entire progressive movement.”
Christine Pellegrino is a teacher, a union activist, a progressive and a leader in the Opt Out movement. She served as a delegate for Bernie Sanders in 2016.
In March, the Democrats were set to nominate another candidate, led by Suffolk Democratic chairman Richard Schaffer. The Working Families Party saw Christine Pellegrino as an inspiring progressive leader who could win, and endorsed her — and successfully pushed the local Democrats to follow suit. (Schaffer declined to support Pellegrino.)
With the nomination secure, New York State United Teachers union members, activists inspired by Bernie Sanders, Nassau County Democrats and progressives of all stripes across Long Island poured into the district to volunteer. The Working Families Party embedded staff on the campaign and helped lead the charge to Pellegrino’s victory tonight.
Donald Trump won this district by a margin of 60% to 37% last November. Tonight’s results are the first true test of how Trumpism fares at the ballot box when facing off against a bold progressive candidate who ran on platform centered on fighting for working families. Long Island has long been seen as a bellwether of voter sentiment. In 2009, Nassau County races foretold the Tea Party wave; and again in 2010 and 2014, races won by Republicans early in the calendar year on Long Island forecast massive losses by the Democrats in November.
Yesterday, the Working Families Party released a comprehensive Resistance Agenda, a platform of progressive policies that would make New York a leader in fighting back against Trump and extremist Republicans in Washington, and which would only be possible with a united, progressive government in Albany.
With Democrats tonight also winning a special election for State Senate in Harlem and reaching a numerical majority of 32 Senators, rallies are planned tomorrow at the offices of all IDC Senators, urging them to join together to stand up to the Trump agenda in Albany.