New York’s Largest Union Backs Cuomo for Reelection

The country's largest health care union has been one of the governor's top donors.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East President George Gresham gesture to the crowd at a healthcare union rally at the Theater at Madison Square Garden, February 21, 2018 in New York City. The rally was organized by 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, the largest healthcare union in the United States. Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

New York’s largest union is backing Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s bid for reelection this year.

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1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, which is also the largest healthcare union in the United States, pointed to the governor’s work to protect working families and commitment to reinforcing worker protections.

The union, which has donated large amounts of money to Cuomo, has more than 400,000 members across Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Washington, D.C. and Florida.

George Gresham, president of 1199SEIU, said Trump has “declared war on worker protections,” referring to cuts to health care coverage and attacks on collective bargaining.

“He has been a true advocate for healthcare workers, standing with us in the fights to increase the minimum wage, for higher wages for homecare workers, and in the fight to secure Paid family leave,” Gresham said in a statement. “Governor Cuomo has been on the front lines with us, and the working men and women of 1199SEIU are proud to endorse him for re-election.”

Cuomo said he is “humbled” by the endorsement and that he hopes to “build on what we started.”

New Yorkers and Americans, the governor contended, “see what is happening in Washington.”

“They see how Republicans have prioritized tax cuts for hedge fund managers at the expense of the working class,” the governor said in a statement. “They are concerned that no one is looking out for them. We’re here to send them a message: We hear you. All New York hears you. And alongside 1199, we have beaten the odds on issue after issue and delivered tremendous results for New York’s working class.”

Ex-State Senator Terry Gipson is the only Democrat who has formally announced a bid against Cuomo. Former Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner and actress and education activist Cynthia Nixon—who recently called for “bluer Democrats” in New York—are currently weighing bids.

Cuomo also has Republican challengers: state Senate Majority Leader John DeFrancisco and former Erie County Executive Joel Giambra.

New York’s Largest Union Backs Cuomo for Reelection