The statewide teachers labor organization on Friday formally endorsed all Democratic incumbents running statewide for election this year, including the ticket of Gov. Kathy Hochul and Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin. A Democratic state Senate candidate in the Southern Tier, meanwhile, is raising the generous severance package for the outgoing chancellor of the state's public college and university system.
Here's a look at today's campaign news:
NYSUT endorses, well, everyone
The New York State United Teachers have endorsed U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, Gov. Kathy Hochul, Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin, Attorney General Letitia James and Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.
It's an early endorsement announcement, relatively, given the primaries are not until June. But at the moment, only Hochul is facing a formal challenge from U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi and New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.
The endorsement for Hochul, however, underscores the lack of drama, more or less, surrounding issues for the teachers' unions in New York.
“Gov. Hochul has met the challenges we face head-on from Day 1 of her administration, proving she has what it takes to lead New York through the pandemic and to new heights,” NYSUT President Andy Pallotta said. “Her commitment to listening to the needs of our members signals a new day in Albany, and we look forward to working alongside her to ensure we build on our high-quality public education, higher education and health care systems in the next four years.”
Senate candidate assails Malatras severance
Democratic state Senate candidate Leslie Danks Burke called for an end to so-called "golden parachute" severance packages following news outgoing SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras will receive $450,000 and a tenured faculty job with a $186,000 salary.
“This massive giveaway of much-needed SUNY funds is outrageous, and should be illegal,” said Danks Burke. “We could have provided full tuition to 63 New Yorkers for what SUNY is forking over to Malatras just this year. Families are struggling, college costs are rising, and yet we are being forced to waste money on a ridiculous Golden Parachute and lifetime employment for a guy who was forced out because of his shameful complicity in a sexual harassment scandal.”
Danks Burke is running for a Southern Tier-area state Senate district led by Republican Tom O'Mara.