New York State United Teachers today made endorsements in nearly 200 state Senate and Assembly races, mainly Democrats.
The powerful union backed nine Republicans in the state Senate, mainly those who do not face a general election challenge, including Sens. Joseph Robach of Greece, Monroe County; John Bonacic of Mount Hope, Orange County; and Michael Nozzolio of Fayette, Seneca County.
The union last year battled the Legislature over a property-tax cap and cuts in state aid. This year, the Legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo increased state aid to schools by $805 million, but it wasn’t enough to stave off some teacher cuts.
“We are living in extraordinarily complicated political and fiscal times. That was certainly reflected in the passion and resolve expressed by activists during our discussions,” said NYSUT President Richard Iannuzzi in a statement. “No single vote served as a litmus test.”
The union made endorsements in 43 of the 63 state Senate races, including some of the hotly contested ones. It backed Democrat Ted O’Brien against Republican Sean Hanna, a Monroe County assemblyman, in a Rochester-area seat. It also backed Democrat George Latimer in his run for an open Westchester seat against Republican Bob Cohen.
The union didn’t endorse in 20 Senate races. In the Assembly, it 102 Democrats and 16 Republicans, while remaining neutral in 32 races. It endorsed Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, for re-election, and Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, R-Canandaigua, Ontario County.