May 13, 2021 By Allie Griffin
The Transit Workers Union has endorsed Elizabeth Crowley for Queens borough president.
TWU Local 100, which represents 41,000 transportation workers throughout the city, announced today that it is backing her in the June 22 primary.
“As the president of the largest transit union in the country, I know that we need a borough president who has the ideas and the vision necessary to get Queens back on the move,” Local 100 President Tony Utano said. “Elizabeth is the clear choice for our frontline hero union members.”
Utano also said that Crowley has proven herself to be a fighter for working families and has “by far the most comprehensive plan to expand mass transit in Queens.”
“In a Crowley borough presidency, we can count on her to protect our bus lines, fight for rail and subway expansion, and make our city greener,” Utano said.
In response, Crowley said she was honored to receive the union’s endorsement and credited transit workers for their continued service during the pandemic.
“This past year has put into perspective the incredible, heroic work that the men and women of Local 100 do for us New Yorkers every day, but the reality is they have always been the ones that have kept our city moving,” she said in a statement. “As borough president, I look forward to fighting for every single one of our transit workers and their working families.”
Crowley is running against incumbent Queens Borough President Donovan Richards and Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer. She has more cash on hand than her two rivals, despite getting a late start on the campaign trail.
“Residents of Queens are putting their funds behind this grassroots effort,” Crowley told the Queens Post.
Crowley said that she’s confident she can win the election this time around, despite coming second to Richards in a special election for the seat last year.
She said that her strategy is to get the message out to Queens voters that she will help small businesses, address the uptick in violent crime and make sure children get the best possible education.
On Friday, her campaign will release a TV commercial to get out that message. It will be the first TV commercial in the borough president race.
Crowley also plans to ramp up her door-knocking effort to show face throughout the borough, now that COVID-19 restrictions are relaxing.
She believes the combination of ranked-choice voting — in which voters rank candidates in order of preference — and the reopening of the city will work to her advantage.
“The pandemic really got in the way of us communicating to voters [last year],” she said. “Now, we’re really going to be out there in the public with hundreds of volunteers knocking on thousands of doors… and we fully anticipate many many more come out to vote.”
Crowley came in second in last year’s special election, generating about 28 percent of in-person ballots. Richards won the five-person race by bringing in 37 percent of the vote. Van Bramer, who was initially part of the race, pulled out well before election day for personal reasons.
Candidates this year will need to win more than 50 percent of the vote via ranked choice voting in order to get elected. If a candidate does not get 50 percent of the first-choice votes in the first round, it will go to a second round.
The voters who selected the candidate who came in last as their top choice will then have their second choice votes tallied for whomever they picked. The process continues until one candidate receives the majority of votes.
The new system, political analysts say, makes it difficult to predict a winner.
If Crowley wins, it wouldn’t be the first time she lost a special election for a public office only to then win the seat in a normal election year.
She was elected to represent the 30th District in the City Council in 2008 after losing a special election for the seat months prior.
“My history of running proves that a lot of things can change in just a few months,” Crowley said.