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Green Party candidate gaining ground in race for governor

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Ellen Abbott
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WRVO News File Photo
Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins is polling well this political season in some parts of the state.

Green Party candidate for governor Howie Hawkins is poised to do better than in the past, and possibly better than the left-leaning candidate has ever done in New York.

Hawkins, who’s been running as high as 14 percent in polls in some regions of the state, says New Yorkers on the left are increasingly disenchanted with Cuomo.

The Green Party candidate cites Cuomo’s budget cuts, enacting lowered pension benefits for new state workers and refusal, so far, to ban hydrofracking.

“He’s my best campaign worker, he’s pushing people toward me,” Hawkins said of Cuomo.

In the final days of the campaign, Cuomo was feuding with some of the progressive elements of the Democratic Party, including the state’s teachers union.

Cuomo called New York’s education system the last public monopoly, and threatened to break it up in his second term. That prompted an angry response from teachers, who said Cuomo disrespected them.  

Hawkins says Cuomo is trying to privatize the schools, and is siding with the powerful and wealthy.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.