Central New Yorkers rallying for Bernie in Clinton country
New York’s Democratic primary isn't until mid-April. Hillary Clinton is viewed as the favorite, after moving to New York and getting elected to the U.S. Senate in 2000. But, there is a dedicated group of volunteers who are working for the other candidate in the democratic race, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont
Ava Zurita of Liverpool said she grew up in a family that supported Hillary Clinton, when the former first lady was senator from New York. The 28-year-old mother of two though has jumped on the Bernie Sanders bandwagon in the 2016 presidential race, in part because of a disconnect she feels with Clinton.
“I feel really disappointed seeing and kind of comparing what I would see when my parents had the TV on and seeing what Hillary said then, versus seeing her now," Zurita said. "And I feel like it’s not the same message. It doesn’t feel genuine, and Bernie feels genuine.”
Zuirita said she’s never been politically active before, but for the last few months has been part of a central New York group that’s supporting Sanders. She’s helped with fundraisers, a march and voter drives in advance of the April 19 Democratic primary in New York state, and also made calls to potential voters in other primary states.
“We do a lot of phone calls to early primary states," Zurita said. "So, we’re not just focusing on New York, we’re focusing across the country and we’re all pulling together.”
While Zurita admits that Clinton has the edge in the Empire State, Sanders is attracting New Yorkers like her who feel that the political system has left them behind.
"There’s been a real disappointment that our system has been so bought by big corporations that we don’t have a voice," Zurita said. "And I feel like Bernie is that one shot to get our voice back.”