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In 2018, I was running for this office and I knocked on a man’s door in Redwood. Meeting people where they’re at is not just something I think makes for a good campaign effort, it’s an important part of being a good representative – constantly reaching out to listen to the people you represent. Anyhoo, I knocked on his door and while we were chewing the fat on his porch, he asked me “what are you?”


It may sound like a funny question – standing in front of him was a 32 year old, slightly balding, human, male - but in the context of knocking on doors during the political season, his question is both common and straightforward. It’s always made me wince a little when people ask what party I am before they even ask my name. Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud to be a registered Republican for a number of reasons but I’m one of the types that votes for the person, not the party. I’m not 100% republican all the time and I think it’s much more important to try and understand someone’s principles than it is to know what the letter on their voter registration card says. One of the things I love about representing Northern New York is how many people are really non-partisan.


The gentlemen accepted my answer to that question and to the others he’d saved up for a time when some person running for office might be on his doorstep. In fact, the conversation went well enough that he invited me to put a sign in his yard. As I left his porch to grab a the metal stakes and yard sign out of my trunk, he asked me another question: “you ever think about that Working Families Party line on the ballot? …I think I like what they’re about” he said.


To be honest, I really hadn’t. My opponent had traditionally carried that line on the ballot in the past and we hadn’t considered trying to contest it. Instead, our team carried Republican, Conservative, Independence, and Reform petitions in 2018 and qualified on every line [shout-out to the volunteers]. But that day I tucked away the thought of the Working Families Party line; thinking I might look into it in a future race.


The Working Families Party (WFP) was first organized in New York in 1998 by a coalition of labor unions and community organizations. When they began, they stuck up for the working class and cross-endorsed members of both major parties. However, the WFP has taken a hard-left turn in recent years.


I’ve been paying closer attention and just want to make it clear and publicly stated that I will definitely not be seeking the Working Families Party endorsement, nor will I petition to seek the line on the ballot. Here’s why:

  1. Last March, the WFP supported and pushed for the 2019 “bail reform” measures that allow dangerous criminals out the same day with no bail.  

  2. In December 2019 the WFP of NY declared publicly that the term:

        “…’Taxpayer’ has become a racially coded term designed to appeal to white individuals and        reinforce the misconception that they are paying taxes to support the needs of people who don’t pay taxes.”

   3. Maurice Mitchell, the WFP’s national director has signaled their aiming to be the home for the “occupy wall street” movement.

   4. New York’s newly minted WFP chairwoman, Sochie Nnaemeka has made one goal building partnership with the “Democratic Socialists of America” and drawing in the new Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wing of the left.


The WFP in my estimation is not focusing it’s platform on WORKING people. Afterall, working people pay taxes and the issue has absolutely nothing to do with race. The concept that defending taxpayers is somehow racist, is ridiculous. Death and Taxes are certain and neither one discriminates against one race or another but taxes do attack working people. Labor unions who originally helped create the WFP have left as a result of the left-wing activist take-over of the party. So the WFP no longer represents working people. What about families?


The WFP party is not protecting FAMILIES when it supports the “bail reform” law of 2019. Taking away discretion from judges so we have a catch and release policy for dangerous criminals in New York is not making it safer for our families. Policies like this give the advantage to drug dealers, gangsters, and criminals – not to peaceful law-abiding people trying to raise more responsible citizens.    


To carry the moniker of the “WFP” after my name would be the opposite of the message I wish to send to voters. Their endorsement would signal I’ve sold out to identity politics, the politics of division, socialism, and some other value set. The Working Families Party has nothing to do with supporting working people or families in Northern New York.

I not only reject the line, I’d like to call on all candidates (from dog-catcher to congress) in our region to stand with taxpayers, law enforcement, working people, families, and common sense by rejecting the “WFP” ballot option.


As we continue to serve, I’ll be in your town frequently and knocking on doors consistently – it’s one of my favorite parts of this role. I plan to stop by the same house in Redwood again and this time I’ve got a few more facts about the political party with a name that doesn’t fit it’s values. Here’s to hoping he’s home when I knock…


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