If you are into moral victories there were many to be had last night. Zephyr Teachout, while not winning the primary, garnered nearly 35% of the vote, an astounding total for a virtually unknown candidate facing off against an incumbent governor with loads of Wall Street cash. Cuomo had a $35 million war chest, including money from NYSUT, nearly forty times the amount of money Teachout raised. Interestingly enough, Teachout had over 8,000 donors to her campaign while Cuomo had less than 1,000. Teachout won 30 of New York State’s 62 counties, which is fairly stunning. Given their discrepency in fund raising it appears as though Cuomo’s votes cost about $65 per vote while Teachout’s cost $1.50.
Teachout did not endorse Cuomo in her concession speech. She reportedly could not call him to conceded either as he wouldn’t give her his phone number. He is a classy guy that Andy Cuomo.
Teachout’s comments to her reporters last night pretty much say it all. Via the Washington Times…
“What we have done here is incredible.,” Teachout told her supporters in a Manhattan bar. “I will not be your next governor but the Democrats of this state have been heard.”
“Anything over 25 percent against an incumbent with 40 times as much money, one of the most famous names in politics, and a four year’s head start on me, I am really, really proud of what we did.”
I can appreciate the moral victories. I can appreciate the fact that Cuomo’s small margin of victory against a largely unknown challenger virtually eliminates any opportunity for him on the national stage. However I still find myself disappointed and angry. The reality is that we have four more years of a governor who waged all out war on teachers, students, and local communities in his first term. The reality is that big money Wall Street donations bought another election. Perhaps what cuts deepest for me is the reality that with an opportunity to make this a really interesting election, the leadership of our parent unions not only failed to support Teachout, but worked to win the election for the governor’s ticket. But with friends like that who needs enemies? I’ll have more on that later.
Reality-Based Educator with a good write up of the primary here.