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Communication Workers of America, District One Sets Sights on Flipping NY State Senate

Contact: Hae-Lin Choi  |

Communication Workers of America, District One Sets Sights on Flipping NY State Senate

New York City - In a year of critical elections at both the State and Federal level that will have a massive impact on the legislative prospects of working people, the Communications Workers of America, District 1, has endorsed six New York State Senate candidates in critical races across the state: 

  • Jim Gaughran (SD 05)
  • Kevin Thomas (SD 6)
  • Anna Kaplan (SD 07)    
  • James Skoufis (SD 39)
  • Karen Smythe (SD 41)
  • Jennifer Metzger (SD 42)

“Unions are under unprecedented attack. We have a real opportunity this year to make a decisive change in the New York State Senate and elect a majority which will fight for our members, fight for the working people of New York, and fight to make vital improvements for our communities.” Dennis Trainor, Vice President, CWA District 1.

With political control over the New York State Senate hanging in the balance, and all 63 seats up for election, this November’s election could prove to be a turning point on key pieces of legislation that would bring statewide improvements to the economy, healthcare, and public safety. The six endorsed candidates have demonstrated a strong commitment to worker justice and fighting for New Yorkers.

“We’ve seen over and over again how key pieces of pro-worker legislation pass the Assembly and are left to die in the Republican-controlled Senate. Just this year we had 42 sponsors for legislation that would have protected over 200,000 call center workers in this state, and Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan simply refused to bring it to the floor. Our members are fed up with this kind of inaction from the State Senate, and are ready to go all out for candidates committed to fighting for workers, not kowtowing to big corporations.” Bob Master, Assistant to the Vice President, CWA District 1.  

"I am proud to have earned CWA District 1's endorsement, and I thrilled to have their support for my campaign. The organized labor movement is the foundation of our Middle Class, and it is under attack. That is why we need New York State to step up for our union brothers and sisters, and ensure all workers have access to good jobs, fair pay, and safe conditions. I will continue to fight alongside unions because they are essential for our long-term prosperity.” Jim Gaughran, State Senate Candidate, SD 05.

"Unions formed the bedrock of our state and our nation's middle class and unfortunately are under attack like never before. New York, which has a long history of working alongside our brothers and sisters of organized labor, must stand up and fight to protect union jobs and collective bargaining rights for all workers. I am deeply honored to accept CWA's endorsement and look to further strengthen our unions once elected to the State Senate." Anna Kaplan, Councilwoman and State Senate Candidate, SD 07 

“I am honored to receive the endorsement of Communications Workers of America, which not only protects the rights and well-being of its members, but also works hard to improve conditions for all working families. I stand with the members of CWA from the telecommunications industry, higher education, and the civil service, and I will press for legislation to keep call center jobs here in New York, create a fair tax structure, and ensure the necessary support for vital services to the public and jobs for our residents.

At a time of unprecedented economic inequality, CWA has been a leader in educating the public about the challenges we face as well as the solutions. I look forward to working with CWA to ensure that everyone has the chance to live a life with dignity and enjoy a good quality of life. Together, we will address the challenges faced by today's workers, and prepare for the challenges we will face in the future.” Jen Metzger, State Senate Candidate, SD 42

“I am proud to be endorsed by CWA District 1 and look forward to partnering with them to make this campaign successful. CWA has a long history of advocating for so many important issues on behalf of working New Yorkers. In the State Senate, I will continue to stand with them and fight for good-paying, local jobs; workers' rights; and more affordable communities.” James Skoufis, New York State Assemblyman and State Senate Candidate, SD 39. 

"I am very grateful to​ C​​WA District 1 for their support of my campaign for State Senate. New York State is the birthplace of the organized labor movement, and we have a responsibility to ensure it remains strong and vibrant. Fair pay, good benefits, and safe working conditions are all basic rights, but they are only available because of the fierce determination of our union brothers and sisters and the struggles they had to endure. I was proud to ​work with organized labor as the president of my family's union​ construction business, and I will continue to stand up for organized labor as State Senator." Karen Smythe, State Senate Candidate, SD 41.

"As a legal services attorney, I know how hard it is for a lot of people to afford a middle class life. This is especially true on Long Island where no matter how hard someone worked, they simply couldn't move up. This is why the need for labor unions is so much greater today than ever before. If elected as a State Senator, I will do everything I possibly can to protect labor unions because they are the backbone of the middle class." Kevin Thomas, State Senate Candidate, SD 6


The Communications Workers of America represents 700,000 working men and women in telecommunications, customer service, healthcare, media, airlines, public service and manufacturing. District One represents 65,000 total members in New York State.

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