The defeat has resulted in a flood of endorsements for insurgent candidates taking on entrenched powers, like Cynthia Nixon’s long-shot bid for governor that doesn’t seem so impossible anymore.
In the last few weeks, Nixon has received support from local elected officials like Jimmy Van Bramer from Queens and Antonio Reynoso from Brooklyn.
Former City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, who bucked county machine bosses like Crowley to win her speaker race in 2014, also backed Nixon, calling her a dedicated and proven progressive.
Heck, even Mayor de Blasio may throw his support for his friend Nixon, who supported him in his first mayoral race. We all know about de Blasio’s longstanding feud with his rival Cuomo, and this would be another slap in the face for the governor.
Speaking on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show two weeks ago, de Blasio demurred when asked why he wouldn’t support Nixon.
“I’m not ready to make any announcements on endorsements for the 2018 elections in the state,” he said. “There’s plenty of time until the primary.”
We predict he will eventually back Nixon, which would serve the dual purpose of hurting Cuomo and reinforce his progressive bona fides for a future (maybe presidential) run for higher office.
The Ocasio-Cortez effect isn’t just impacting the gubernatorial race. Challengers to former IDC state senators are also getting a boost from top political and labor leaders.
Despite being one of the figures who brokered the initial reunification deal between the now-dissolved IDC and the mainline Democrats, Hector Figueroa, the president of the union 32BJ, endorsed Alessandra Biaggi, who is challenging former IDC leader Jeff Klein.
Part of the reunification agreement was that the establishment wouldn’t support the IDC senators’ primary challenges. So much for that.
Figueroa even implied in a New York Times interview that he wanted to make sure the IDC, which had a power-sharing agreement with Republicans, was dead.
“Only a blow in the head can kill a zombie,” he said.
And even current Council Speaker Corey Johnson got in on the act. Though he wasn’t part of the conversations to unify the Democratic Conference with the IDC, Crowley was. We believe it’s fair to say Johnson owes a great deal of his speakership to Crowley’s influence over the Queens delegation.
What a coincidence it was that Johnson waited until after Ocasio-Cortez’s victory to endorse four anti-IDC challengers, including Jessica Ramos in Queens and Zellnor Myrie in Brooklyn.
We fully expect this to continue until the September primary. Elected officials who were silent on insurgent candidates now suddenly, conveniently, want to ride the progressive wave and take pictures standing next to Ocasio-Cortez and Nixon.
Establishment politicians should be quivering in their boots.