In a rare move, the left-leaning Working Families Party announced it will throw it’s support behind the re-election campaign of Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park).
The move allows Ulrich’s name to appear on the WFP’s ballot line in the November election should he gather enough petitions.
“We’re supporting him because he’s stood with us on issues vital to working-class and middle-class families,” said WFP spokesman Joe Dinkin. “He stood with us in favor of paid sick days and he called for raising the minimum wage in Albany. Those are two big issues for us, and he was on the right side.”
Ulrich welcomed the endorsement.
“As I gear up for my re-election bid, I am proud to have the support of the Working Families Party,” he said in a statement. “Generally speaking, my supporters come from a wide array of political backgrounds and affiliations. My campaign will focus on the issues that are important to the people I represent and helping rebuild the neighborhoods affected by Hurricane Sandy.”
Ulrich was the only Republican on the City Council to support the bill to mandate paid sick days, a bill which pitted him against Mayor Bloomberg, who opposed the bill.
While running against Democratic state Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach) last year, Ulrich endorsed raising the minimum wage, which was opposed by most Senate Republicans.
The WFP typically cross-endorses Democrats or will run its own candidates, but has in the past endorsed Republicans.
“We support candidates who will stand up and fight for working-class and middle-class families, no matter their party,” Dinkin said in an email.
One Democrat has jumped into the race against Ulrich, Rockaway civic leader Lew Simon, who has the support of the Queens Democratic Party.