Howie Hawkins Hopes to Capture Former Cuomo Supporters

Jun 4, 2014

Green Party candidate for Governor Howie Hawkins of Syracuse says many disenfranchised Working Families Party members might see him as the only progressive option after party leaders endorsed democrat Andrew Cuomo.  

Green Party Candidate for Governor Howie Hawkins speaks to the media Tuesday.
Credit Scott Willis / WAER News

Hawkins says progressive voters feel Cuomo can't be trusted after flip-flopping on positions and walking back on promises made to the WFP.  He says the WFP and the Greens actually aren't that far apart on the issues.

Hawkins says if he starts drawing votes, that will strengthen the WFP on the inside, and may move Cuomo to fulfill some of his promises.   He says WFP voters on social media are very unhappy with the governor, and many of them are turning to the Green Party.  Hawkins says the same feeling might also apply to some unions and other groups, and says he'll be seeking their endorsements, as well.  Meanwhile, he says he'll continue campaigning and explain Cuomo's real record.  

A campaign poster in the Green Party's office.
Credit Scott Willis / WAER News

  Hawkins says Cuomo did manage to break the gridlock in Albany and pass a few progressive measures.  But he worries that’s the extent of what most people know.

"Of course, most voters aren't following this closely, and they sort of have the impression he got things done.  Then they wonder why their property taxes are still high, and their schools are cutting programs and staff.  That's what we gotta explain."

This time around, Hawkins has the advantage of time and some extra cash.  He says they’re far ahead of where they were in 2010 when they were just trying to get on the ballot.  Now, Hawkins says they're almost overwhelmed with supporters and volunteers.  He says they plan to do limited advertising on TV and radio,  but it won’t be the saturation we’ll see from Cuomo and GOP nominee Rob Astorino.  Hawkins does worry that commercial media’s coverage of the race could be influenced by the extra revenue from what he calls “corporate sponsored major party candidates.”