Press Releases

Teamsters Announce Early Endorsements in Key Senate Districts

Over 1,000 Teamsters are registered to vote in each of the three contested districts, giving the union an outsized role

NEW YORK, NY – Teamsters Joint Council 16 announced endorsements in three competitive New York State Senate races today. The union is backing Senator Gustavo Rivera for reelection in his Bronx district, SEIU1199 veteran Dell Smitherman to unseat Senator John Sampson in Brooklyn, and Queens Deputy Borough President Leroy Comrie against incumbent Malcolm Smith.

“We looked at the map strategically and decided these were three races where we could make a difference by endorsing early,” said Teamsters Joint Council 16 President George Miranda. “Over 1,000 Teamsters are registered to vote in each of these districts. By mobilizing our members, we will have a big impact.”

As elections near, Teamsters Joint Council 16 will be mailing, phone banking, and organizing Teamster activists to vote and volunteer in these three races.

“Gustavo, Leroy, and Dell all share our values and will get Teamster strength on the ground,” Miranda continued. “Senator Rivera is an ally in Albany, whether we needed him to speak out publicly or work behind the scenes to advocate for New York’s workers. He champions traditional labor concerns and our other priorities, like immigrant rights. Deputy Borough President Comrie has a long history in New York City government and a record of standing with labor. Dell Smitherman spent years in the rank-and-file of the labor movement and has shown his talent for mobilizing the power of working people for real change, a welcome addition to Albany.”

The three candidates welcomed the endorsement and pledged to keep up the fight for New York’s workers in the State Senate.

“When I first ran for office, I pledged to put working families first,” said Senator Gustavo Rivera. “Since then, I’ve fought around the clock to keep that pledge, standing with allies like the Teamsters to increase the minimum wage, create good jobs with benefits, and demand our community’s fair share. Just as we have stood together so many times before, I am proud to be once more standing with Teamsters Joint Council 16 as we fight for a State Senate that will truly put working families first.”

“Each week, more and more labor unions and progressive organizations join this campaign because we are on the side of working families,” said Dell Smitherman. “Whether it’s investing in better classrooms, fighting for higher wages, or improving infrastructure and safety in our public housing, this campaign has the right ideas to move our community forward. I’m thrilled to welcome Teamsters Joint Council 16 to this fight, and look forward to working with their more than 1,000 members in this district in the months to come.”

“I am honored to have earned the support of Joint Council 16, International Brotherhood of Teamsters and thankful for their endorsement of our campaign to restore integrity and to make positive change for the people of the 14th Senatorial District,” said Leroy Comrie. “The hard working men and women of the Teamsters share my commitment to improving the lot of working families, creating and maintaining good jobs, improving education and expanding and preserving affordable housing. I look forward to working with them and building on these progressive values in order to achieve our goals.”