State comptroller Tom DiNapoli picked up his first big endorsement for his re-election bid. Capital Tonight's Nick Reisman has more on the Democrat's campaign strategy for this year.
As he gears up for re-election, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is turning to an ally from 2010: public employee labor unions. DiNapoli on Thursday was endorsed by the Civil Service Employees Association, the state's largest public workers union.
"We want people to understand the important work that we've been doing in our office and that's why this endorsement means so much because the men and women of CSEA keep a close eye on what we're doing in the comptroller's office," DiNapoli said.
Having the support of labor was key four years ago for DiNapoli's win over Republican Harry Wilson. Support from labor unions often means a strong push to get out the vote on Election Day. DiNapoli said that will come in handy this year, too.
"It really is a year where I think we're going to have to remind people that 2014 is an important election year. It's always a challenge when you run for comptroller. We're not always a front page, top-of-the-line race," DiNapoli said.
Republican challenger Bob Antonacci says he wasn't even given the chance to make his case before CSEA's endorsement panel.
"My father was a 42-year member of the United Autoworkers. I grew up in a union household. I'm proud of my father's efforts and I would have been able to make a case why a Republican would be good for the public employees," Antonacci said.
And he says DiNapoli's unwillingness to consider support for a defined contribution plan or a new, cheaper pension tier is a problem for New Yorkers who want to save money.
The taxpayers are going to be able to make a decision on these issues that can save them money or do they want to keep the status quo," said Antonacci.
One Democratic candidate unlikely to get CSEA's approval anytime soon is Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is running for a second term. Cuomo backed the creation of Tier Six as well as a less generous labor contract -- two episodes that worsened his already sour relationship with public labor unions.
We're here today about Tom DiNapoli because he's our choice. We'll deal with the governor when we deal with the governor," said Danny Donohue, president of the CSEA.