CHARLESTON — The Working Families Party has launched its presidential endorsement process. Following a careful review of candidates’ questionnaires, as well as their public positions and records, the WFP has narrowed its field to Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Julian Castro, Bill De Blasio and Kamala Harris. In the coming months, WFP members and leaders will interview and assess the candidates, culminating in an organization-wide vote later this year.
“The best way to beat Donald Trump in 2020 is to nominate someone with a bold, transformative vision of real and sustained justice,” Maurice Mitchell, national director of the Working Families Party, said on the membership call. “One where everyone can thrive and seek happiness and derive pleasure from this precious life, no matter what you look like, where you were born, who you love, or how much money is in your pocket. And if we can win the presidential election on the basis of such a bold vision, we will move that much closer to winning the world we deserve.”
Last month, the Working Families Party invited every Democratic primary candidate to fill out a questionnaire. The WFP executive committee reviewed the responses as well as the records, positions, and support for the candidates within the WFP membership base. The six selected candidates will move on to the next phase of the process.
That endorsement process will include live-streamed candidate interviews with questions from WFP members, as well as opportunities for member debate and deliberation. Half of the total vote share will go to the WFP’s supporter base, with the other half going to the WFP National Committee. The endorsement vote will be conducted using ranked-choice voting. The ultimate winner will benefit from the endorsement of a key progressive validator as well as the WFP’s campaign muscle in Democratic primary states.
In West Virginia, the state chapter of Working Families Party is planning on volunteer-driven events to engage WFP members in the organization’s endorsement process. And West Virginia WFP is gearing up to mobilize the grassroots to end Donald Trump’s cruel, racist, and kleptocratic administration.
“WFP members will get a chance to ask every candidate questions about their values, positions, and record in live-streamed interviews,” said Nelini Stamp, the Working Families Party director of strategy and partnerships. “People will host watch parties in their homes or at bars and coffee shops, participate in surrogate debates, and eventually, cast their vote for who we should support. We are making this process all about our members.”
The WFP is an independent political party that puts workers over bosses and people over the powerful. It recruits, trains, and elects progressive champions.
This year the WFP has driven a progressive wave in local elections across America. The WFP helped elect longtime tenants organizer and progressive champion Jumaane Williams as public advocate in New York City, swelled the ranks of Chicago’s city council progressive caucus, put public education champions on the school board in Milwaukee, helped make Stephen Mason the first Black mayor of Cedar Hill, Texas, helped insurgent Latinx LGBTQ social worker Candi CdeBaca oust a longtime incumbent on the Denver City Council, and elected other council members from Morgantown to Dallas.
Last year the WFP flipped state senate chambers in New York and Colorado, defeated big-spending political establishments in Maryland and Milwaukee, and helped Tony Evers and WFP National Committee member Mandela Barnes oust Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.
— Working Families Party