Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s campaign is exploring the possibility of creating a new ballot line dedicated to women’s equality issues, according to multiple sources familiar with the effort.
It’s not clear whether the effort will get off the ground, according to the sources. Statewide candidates would have to turn in 15,000 petition signatures to become eligible for the ballot line, while the number of petitions needed for state lawmakers and congressional members depends on the office they’re seeking.
A spokesman for Cuomo’s campaign declined immediate comment.
Should Cuomo’s campaign push ahead, it could give him a fourth line on this November’s ballot, should he get past a Democratic primary challenge from Fordham Law professor Zephyr Teachout. Cuomo is the Democratic Party’s preferred candidate, and has already obtained the Working Families and Independence party lines.
Women’s equality issues are likely to be a major campaign issue this year. Cuomo last year proposed a 10-point Women’s Equality Act, which would make a number of changes to state law to bolster equal-pay protections, increase human trafficking penalties and implement other measures.
But Senate Republicans opposed a plank of the act that would strengthen New York’s abortion laws and refused to put it to a vote, and the Assembly’s Democratic leadership declined to separate the act into 10 separate bills.
Cuomo’s Republican opponent, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, launched a similar ballot effort last week. Astorino, who also has the Conservative Party line, is attempting to collect enough signatures to start the “Stop Common Core” ballot line in an attempt to capitalize on parent anger over the tougher education standards.
(Mike Groll/AP photo)