News stories

Members urged to vote in primary

Union endorses 98 candidates in Assembly, Senate and congressional races

Among Assembly candidates to watch

Marsha MichaelMarsha Michael Rebecca SeawrightRebecca Seawright Lori BoozerLori Boozer Jo Anne SimonJo Anne Simon Latoya JoynerLatoya Joyner

The UFT is through its state affiliate, NYSUT, supporting a large slate of candidates in the 2014 elections for the New York Assembly and Senate and the U.S. Congress.

Among the 98 endorsed candidates who represent parts of New York City are five women vying for open seats in the Assembly — all entering the political arena with stellar public service experience. The women are competing in the Democratic primaries on Tuesday, Sept. 9.

“We’re excited to have such strong women candidates,” said Paul Egan, the UFT’s director of legislation and political action. “We urge members to vote in the primary.”

NYSUT, which announced its endorsements on Aug. 14, will back up its candidates of choice with $4.2 million in support for polling, advertising and direct assistance, Egan said.

Here are five Assembly candidates to watch:

Marsha Michael, who is seeking to represent the 79th Assembly District in the Bronx, was born in St. Croix but attended PS 129, IS 158 and Martin Luther King HS after her family immigrated to the Bronx when she was a toddler. Michael attended Binghamton University and Albany Law School and now works as a law clerk to a justice on the New York State Supreme Court.

Rebecca Seawright is a former assistant district attorney in the Brooklyn DA’s office and legal counselor to small business owners and entrepreneurs. Seawright, a candidate for the 76th Assembly District seat in Manhattan, is a public school parent concerned about overcrowding and underfunding. She is a graduate of CUNY Law School and chairs the Board of Visitors for the school.

Lori Boozer, a candidate for the 55th Assembly District in Brooklyn, attended Boys and Girls HS and went on to Vassar University and Boston Law School. In addition to working at Housing Court Answers, a nonprofit advocacy organization, she serves as a union representative for Local 2320 of the National Organization of Legal Services Workers/United Auto Workers.

Jo Anne Simon is a longtime educator and community activist in Brooklyn who is seeking to represent the 52nd Assembly District, where she has been a New York State Democratic Committee member and district leader for 10 years. A graduate of Gallaudet and Fordham Law, Simon has a Brooklyn law practice specializing in civil rights for the disabled.

Latoya Joyner, a court attorney for a New York City Civil Court judge in the Bronx, is seeking to represent the 77th Assembly District in the borough. After attending public schools, Joyner studied at the University at Buffalo Law School and interned with the New York State Division of Human Rights in the Bronx investigating housing discrimination claims. She is also a member of Community Board 4 and the Neighborhood Advisory Board.

In other closely watched races, the union has endorsed Leroy Comrie for Queens’ Senate District 14 and incumbent Adriano Espaillat in Upper Manhattan’s Senate District 31.

In a crowded primary field, Jesse Hamilton has the union’s endorsement for the state Senate seat in Brooklyn’s 20th District vacated by Eric Adams, the Brooklyn borough president.

NYSUT is strongly supporting the re-elections of Eric Schneiderman for attorney general and Thomas DiNapoli for state comptroller.

NYSUT did not make an endorsement in the governor’s race.

To see the full list of NYSUT-endorsed candidates, including for Long Island and Westchester County, go to our political endorsements page.

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