The labor-backed Working Families Party (WFP) convened Saturday for their annual convention at the Desmond Hotel in suburban Albany to nominate its candidates for New York’s statewide offices.

While the nominations for incumbent Democrats Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Comptroller Tom DiNapoli moved forward without issue, there was disagreement among the disparate factions within the WFP (namely, labor interests and liberal political activists) on who should receive their nomination for Governor.

Zephyr Teachout, a Fordham Law School professor and former campaign aid to Vermont Governor Howard Dean’s failed 2004 residential campaign, mounted a serious challenge for the nomination of the small but influential party, but ultimately only garnered 41 percent of the delegate vote to Governor Cuomo’s 59 percent.

While not in attendance, Governor Cuomo addressed the convention via video message and indicated his support for several policy and political goals important to the WFP’s membership, including: The end of the GOP-IDC majority coalition that has controlled the State Senate for two years in favor of a full Democratic takeover of the State’s upper chamber; a minimum wage increase; public financing of all state political campaigns; and enactment of the DREAM Act, a higher education fund for children of illegal immigrants.

Tom Precious of the Buffalo News explores the political side of this agreement and what it may mean for Western New York.