The Working Families Party in New York is seriously considering running a candidate against Democratic congressman Mike Arcuri because of his “no” vote on the health reform bill. Typically, the Working Families Party cross-endorses Democratic candidates through a practice called fusion, where multiple parties can endorse the same candidate. However, in this case, the party feels that “this is a fault-line moment.” Republicans, on the other hand, are hoping they can benefit having two candidates in the race who are perceived as being less conservative than them. The powerful union SEIU is also saying that they would support a potential third party candidate.
New York’s Working Families Party, which has outsized influence in state politics and its own ballot line, is actively recruiting a candidate to run against Upstate Rep. Mike Arcuri, who says he’ll vote against health care legislation.
“If Rep. Arcuri sides with the insurance companies against the middle-class and working-class voters of his district, they’ll go elsewhere, and we are in active conversation with several people who we think would make excellent third-line challengers in this race,” WFP executive director Dan Cantor told me.
The party prides itself on not playing the spoiler, but “this is a fault-line moment,” Cantor said. “This is the most important vote he will cast in his career in Congress.”
Arcuri won his seat by nearly 10,000 votes, and won more than 9,000 of them on the Working Families line, so just denying him the line — much less running a serious challenge — could cost him his seat.