Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Kathy Hochul joined dozens of women Tuesday on the steps of City Hall to announce they had collected 100,000 petition signatures to put the Women's Equality Party on the ballot this fall. Only 15,000 were needed.
The news conference was led by former City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who said Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo had asked her to help out with the newly formed party. The platform involves achieving pay equity and ending workplace sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination. It seeks to elect Cuomo, Hochul and a state Senate that favors abortion rights.
Hochul, Cuomo's running mate, called on voters to cast ballots for candidates on the Women's Equality Party line, which needs 50,000 votes to automatically stay on the ballot.
The former congresswoman from Erie County said the Democratic Party is a leader on women's issues, but there are a lot of voters who favor abortion rights who are registered Republican and need the opportunity to cast their votes for a third party.
Hochul's challenger in the primary, Tim Wu, running mate to gubernatorial candidate Zephyr Teachout, in a statement said Hochul voted to eliminate breast and cervical cancer screenings while in Congress.
"She's a Republican running in a Democratic primary, trying to get on the general election ballot through a sham party," he said.
Quinn defended Hochul before reporters asked the candidate to speak for herself.
"I ask Tim Wu to walk around in my shoes, to take a 100 percent pro-choice record in the most Republican district in the state of New York," Hochul said. "It takes a little more than sending out tweets."