The Working Families Party is working to connect with voters ahead of November’s election in an attempt to reach higher voter thresholds to keep their automatic ballot access for the next two years. Sochie Nnaemeka, New York state director of the Working Families Party, told Capital Tonight that a vote for Kathy Hochul on their line is a vote for their efforts to pass a progressive legislative agenda.
Political parties in New York must receive more than 130,000 votes or 2% of the total vote in a statewide election — whichever is higher — to retain their ballot due to changes passed in 2019. Prior to the changes, parties needed just 50,000 votes in a gubernatorial election to guarantee themselves automatic ballot access for four years.
Despite achieving automatic ballot access in 2018 with the old thresholds, the Independence, Libertarian, Green and Serve America Movement parties failed to reach the new requirements in the 2020 election. The only parties that were able to reach the new requirements were the Working Families and Conservative parties, which endorsed Joe Biden and Donald Trump, respectively.
Nnaemeka argues the Working Families Party is putting forward a vision where New York runs not just “for the wealthy few but is actually run for the many” and is not merely “anti-Republican.”
Like the right wing Conservative Party, which typically endorses the Republican nominee, the left wing Working Families Party typically endorses the Democratic nominee. That will be the case in this year’s gubernatorial election where Kathy Hochul will appear on the Democratic and Working Families party lines and Lee Zeldin will be on the Republican and Conservative lines. This will be the first time that New Yorkers will have just two gubernatorial candidates on their ballot since 1946.
While their names won’t appear on the ballot, the Green Party’s Howie Hawkins and the Libertarian Party’s Larry Sharpe are running write-in campaigns for governor.