About 50 people stopped at Spotlight Bar & Grill in downtown Binghamton Tuesday night to hear from one of the candidates for lieutenant governor, Jumaane Williams.
Williams has done community organizing for years and serves on the New York City Council. He wants to shift money for police to affordable housing and public schools. He also wants to end cash bail, and put money into mental health services and drug treatment. Williams also supports universal healthcare.
One attendee, Eric Lee, said he likes many of those positions. He wishes New York didn’t have closed primaries.
“Unfortunately, I am Republican, so I won’t be able to vote for him,” said Lee. “The reason I would vote for him is because of his focus on ordinary people, education and emphasis on reforming the prison system.”
Ebony Jackson, with the group, Progressive Leaders of Tomorrow, sat in on Tuesday’s event. Like several people at the meeting, she hadn’t heard much about Williams beforehand.
“After hearing him tonight, of course, he said everything that a progressive would want to hear,” said Jackson. “I do still have to do some work myself to see who I might vote for, ultimately, because I’ve been a New Yorker for so long that Cuomo is stuck in your head and you kinda want to stick with tradition, but of course, we know that tradition is not always the best way to go.”
One attendee said she would vote for Williams and Cuomo. She doesn’t agree with everything Cuomo decides, but feels whoever is governor should have political experience.
Williams criticizes Governor Cuomo, saying he’s all talk. He and Cuomo’s opponent Cynthia Nixon have teamed up to print literature together. Former Democratic candidate for President Bernie Sanders has endorsed Williams. He has not endorsed Nixon or Cuomo.
The primary is Thursday. Polls are open from noon until 9pm.