By Brooklyn Reader

March 26, 2015, 2:56 pm

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Diana Richardson
Diana Richardson

Working Families Party (WFP) candidate Diana Richardson, today, picked up the endorsement of SEIU 32BJ – a key union – in her bid for the open 43rd District Assembly seat in the May 5 special election.

SEIU 32BJ represents thousands of office cleaners, apartment building workers, security officers, window cleaners, theater and stadium cleaners, airport workers and public school workers from all over the city and Long Island.

“Our members were impressed by Diana Richardson’s commitment to fight for the affordable housing and good jobs for the local community in her district”, said 32BJ President Héctor J. Figueroa. “She is a lifelong resident and she knows the needs of the community better than anyone.”

Richardson said she was honored to receive the endorsement and noted that many 32BJ members lived in the district, which includes Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Lefferts Gardens and East Flatbush.

“My commitment to these hard workers who do the job of keeping our residential and commercial buildings clean and safe and working at our airports, is to be a strong leader and voice for them and all working families,” she said.

The endorsement is the first of what is expected to be several unions endorsing Richardson as the WFP – the progressive arm of the Democratic Party – pulls out all the stops to have their first sole Party candidate in the state win an elected office. This might eventually also include Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has close ties to the WFP.

Richardson also has the backing of Central Brooklyn’s powerful Clarke Family including Congress member Yvette Clarke and her mother, Una, who represented a good part of the district as a former City Council member.

Adding to Richardson’s strength is that the Democratic Party does not have a candidate on the ballot due to a chain of procedural errors that left a political gadfly as the party’s candidate only to see him not file the paperwork on time to be on the ballot.

While all this expected institutional backing and no Democratic candidate on the ballot is a positive sign for Richardson’s campaign, the election remains both a dog fight and a nail biter with four people vying for the seat.

This includes female Democratic Party District leader Shirley Paterson, who is running on the Independence Party line and who enjoys the strong backing of both Borough President Eric Adams (who represented the area in the senate before becoming borough president) and State Senator Jessie Hamilton, who currently represents the area.

Male Democratic Party District leader Geoffrey Davis, who is the brother of the late City Councilman James Davis, and has strong name recognition in the district, is also running on his own Love Yourself Party line.

Finally, there is Republican Menachem Raitport, who could slip in if Richardson, Patterson and Davis split the Democratic vote evenly.

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