Gov. Hochul’s Lt. Gov Faces Sharp Opposition for Primary
By: Benyamin Davidsons
In the state of New York, the governor and lieutenant governor run separately in the primary. While Gov. Hochul has a strong advantage in fund-raising and seems to be leading in polls, the left is now targeting her running mate– Antonio Delgado.
Progressives are gearing up to make waves in the Democratic primary coming up on June 28. As reported by the NY Times, while Jumaane Williams, the New York City public advocate, has little chance of winning the Democratic ticket over Hochul in the primary, the left is hopeful that his running mate Ana María Archila can make it to Lt. governor. Archila is a long-time activist and newbie candidate, being backed by the Working Families Party.
Archila, 43, is all for women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, immigrant rights and workers justice. She was invited as a guest of honor to the 2019 State of the Union by progressive congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia, she moved to the U.S. at the age of 17. She is a co-founder of progressive grassroots organizations Make the Road New York and Make the Road Action.
While in most cases the role of Lt. governor is a ceremonial position aligned with the governor, Archila has made it clear she would use the post to make her voice heard and counterweight the governor’s power. “I will not be a lieutenant governor who’s quietly in the background, smiling and cutting ribbons,” Ms. Archila said. In a televised debate last Wednesday, Archila boldly noted that it was an elected position and does not require deference to the governor. She said she would “stand up to the governor when he or she is veering away” from helping working people.
Her main opponent, Delgado, 45, was selected by Gov. Hochul after Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin resigned after being arrested for bribery charges in April. As per the Times, despite Delgado’s late entry, the former congressman representing the Hudson Valley, swiftly acquired support from the party establishment and key labor unions, as well as substantial campaign coffers which he used for abundant television ads. He has already spent more than $4 million on television and digital ads since he was appointed lieutenant governor, as per AdImpact, a firm which tracks television ad spending. Delgado, a Harvard Law School graduate, is considered a moderate Democrat, and is known for being the first person of color elected to Congress in upstate New York, having won a Republican-held seat in the 2018 House election. If Delgado were to lose the primary next week, Gov. Hochul could potentially have to run in the general elections in November together with a lieutenant governor not of her choosing.
Archila has been endorsed by Representatives Nydia Velázquez and Jamaal Bowman and State Senator John Liu. Despite her low-budget campaign, she is expected to have a strong backing from Latino voters. “New York State is such a rich state,” Ms. Archila said last week. “Our problem is never that we lack resources, our problem is that we prioritize the interests of those who have already so much and who are able to use their leverage, their money to influence our policies.”