WFP and the Insurgents

Here’s a funny thing: two most prominent insurgent candidates for state office this year, Grace Meng and Ken Diamondstone were both endorsed by the Working Families Party and have both faced residency challenges.

Last week, Meng withdrew her candidacy from the race to replace her father, Jimmy Meng, in a Queens Assembly district — supposedly in anticipation of a residency related challenge. Diamondstone, currently facing his own challenge in court today, will soon learn if he will fall prey to the same technicality.

We asked WFP spokesperson Alex Navarro about this curious phenomenon:

Politicians without a strong reservoir of support in their communities will go to extremes to keep off other candidates that have a base. As a longtime activist, Ken Diamondstone has a strong progressive base in lower Manhattan and Brooklyn. Of course Marty Connor is going to pull every trick out his Election Lawyer’s hat to keep Ken off the ballot.

We’re counting on the courts taking a realistic approach and leaning in the direction of the First Amendment interest in the lively debate this race promises on the best way to deliver affordable housing, better-funded schools, universal health care and more transparent, open and democratic government.

Doesn’t exactly answer the question, but at least it sounds good.

—Nicole Brydson