Running as part of a wave of women has been an effective way to get noticed this cycle, particularly for insurgent candidates. If you don’t have the kind of campaign funds—and few non-incumbents do—to bombard voters with television ads and yard signs, appearing alongside more well-known candidates can go a long way.
As Robinson alludes, many of the women candidates running have gone beyond endorsing each other: In response to the state capital’s “boys’ club,” some New York women instead see themselves as being part of a sisterhood.
"Supporting each other this way is absolutely a nod to the sisterhood, it's a way to say we need each other to fight a machine that privileges men."
In some ways, the fact that these progressive candidates are women is one of the least remarkable facets of their campaign. Yet there’s also certainly a gendered dynamic to some of their races, that make it worthwhile to emphasize their gender: Biaggi’s opponent was accused of sexual harassment in January, and then later joined three other men in a closed-door meeting in Albany to decide on crucial sexual harassment legislation. Not to mention that the very existence of the IDC has arguably kept the Reproductive Health Act from coming to the floor, and Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins from becoming the first black woman majority leader in the state senate.
“While access to abortion is key and non-negotiable, women on the campaign trail have made clear ‘women’s issues’ also include wage equity, healthcare affordability, workplace discrimination—the list goes on.”
If voters choose these women over their opponents on Thursday, and, in November, decide to send them to Albany, New York state could look a lot different. But sending just one woman to the state legislature, turning one into the next attorney general, or electing one to be the governor of New York won’t be enough to enact the progressive change each of them envision.“If you’re running on your own, what happens when you get to the state legislature and you’re still surrounded by establishment Democrats who don’t want to get anything done?” Klein says. “You’re in a better position, practically, if you’re surrounded by other progressive women who can help support your legislation and build a coalition with you.“It’s going to be so much better for Alessandra if Jessica is there and Jessica if Jasi [Robinson] is there and for all of them if Cynthia Nixon is governor.”“We can’t vote for each other, but we want to be able to work with each other,” Ramos, who’s running in District 13 to unseat former IDC member Jose Peralta, says. “I want to codify Roe v. Wade with Biaggi, with Jasmine Robinson, Rachel May, and Julie Goldberg.“I don’t want to pass laws in Albany with their opponents,” Ramos continues. “I want to pass laws with them."Eve Peyser contributed reporting.