Gubernatorial hopeful Cynthia Nixon, for example, has backed anti-Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) insurgents, including Jessica Ramos in Queens and Zellnor Myrie in Brooklyn.
On Monday, that trend continued in Bushwick. State Senate candidate Julia Salazar, a Democratic socialist taking on incumbent Democrat Martin Malave Dilan, cross-endorsed with attorney general candidate Zephyr Teachout.
Salazar, who has also been endorsed by Ocasio-Cortez and Nixon, is running to the left of Dilan, who has been in the State Senate since 2003. Teachout, meanwhile, is in a four-way race for attorney general that includes Public Advocate Letitia James and Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney.
Both are seen as underdogs launching anti-establishment bids in hopes of shaking up Albany. Both have committed to not taking “corporate money” or donations from real estate developers.
Standing in front of Salazar’s campaign headquarters on Central Avenue, Salazar praised Teachout, who ran against Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2010, for her professional experience defending people on death row and suing the Donald Trump administration.
“Zephyr has demonstrated a relentless commitment to speaking truth to power,” she said. “She has demonstrated incredible, unmatched integrity. That is what we need in New York’s next attorney general.”
Salazar said both candidates support progressive stances like ending cash bail and vacancy decontrol, strengthening rent laws, passing universal health care, and codifying a woman’s right to choose.
“We need to create a more caring society,” Salazar said, “and in order to do that, we need to elect legislators and an attorney general who will actually be accountable to the people.”
Teachout, a law professor who also unsuccessfully ran for Congress in the Hudson Valley and governor, said Ocasio-Cortez’s win was a “jolt of electricity” that added “optimism and organizing sauce” to insurgent candidates.
She criticized Salazar’s Democratic opponent, Dilan, for both his coziness to real estate developers and former Brooklyn party boss Vito Lopez, who was forced to resign from office in 2013 after a sexual harassment scandal.
Teachout noted that real estate developers “flood” New York state politics with donations, including legislators from upstate and downstate.
“Dilan has not been the voice for people living in this community,” she said. “He’s way too close to Vito, he’s never condemned Vito.”
The attorney general hopeful, meanwhile, described Salazar as an “unabashed progressive, clear and moral voice” for the people of her community.
“Her campaign has inspired excitement not just here, but around the state and the country,” she said. “And it should.”
Teachout added that both she and Salazar have been accused of not living in their districts, and their opponents have tried kicking them off the ballot due to residency rules. Salazar moved from Florida to New York to attend Columbia University in 2010.
Teachout went to trial in her 2010 gubernatorial bid against Cuomo. She said she rented in New York, and did not own property here.
“We see that Dilan is not running on his record, he’s just running on negative attack ads,” she said. “He’s trying to kick her off the ballot because he doesn’t want to face her in the September 13th primary. It’s proof that he’s scared.”
Later on Monday, the Working Families Party endorsed Salazar over Dilan, according to reports. WFP executive director Bill Lipton accused the state senator of favoring landlords and real estate donors over tenants and working families.
Graham Parker, a Dilan campaign spokesperson, responded to the new endorsements for his opponents.
“Congratulations,” Parker said in a statement. “Senator Dilan has been endorsed by attorney general candidate Tish James and Governor Cuomo.”