How the Institutional Left Failed
The leftward push in the NY governor's race stalls out
Recently, the New York Times ran a story about how Jumaane Williams’ bid for governor seems to be stalling out. “He had name recognition, charisma and a clear political lane,” the Times wrote. “But Mr. Williams has failed to gain much momentum ahead of the June 28 primary. He is far behind in fund-raising, has not run any television ads, and has done far fewer campaign events than might be expected of a major candidate for governor.”
As damning as the story’s framing may seem—the headline is “Jumaane Williams Owns the Left Lane. Why Hasn’t His Campaign Taken Off?”—it is ultimately sympathetic to Williams, the New York City public advocate endorsed by the Working Families Party and the constellation of progressive organizations associated with them. Williams, the reporters argue, was poised to take off until his wife’s cancer diagnosis last year. “Beneath it all is an underlying issue, though Mr. Williams is careful not to blame his campaign woes on it: His wife was diagnosed with cervical cancer last year, and their daughter was born prematurely in February,” according to the Times.
Williams offered to drop out twice and his wife told him to stay in the race. Williams, in turn, vowed to push on. Undoubtedly, these terrible circumstances have hindered his efforts to fundraise and travel across the state. A cancer diagnosis is terrifying and politics, rightly, cannot be a top consideration. It is hard to imagine what Williams and his wife have gone through over the last year.