Every Friday, we choose an alum who has been making headlines—for better or for worse.
Ico comments 1 comment | Ico print Print | Ico email Email | Facebook | | RSS

Zephyr Teachout ’93:
tackling Cuomo from the left

To most of America, Andrew Cuomo is a liberal Democrat. To Zephyr Teachout ’93, the New York governor is not a progressive but “somebody who serves himself and his donors.”

That’s why Teachout, a law professor at Fordham University, is making her first run for office by challenging Cuomo within the Democratic Party.

“The political system is still corrupt and rigged and Andrew Cuomo is not only part of the broken system, he has made it worse,” Teachout said in announcing her candidacy on June 16.

Ten years ago Teachout made a splash as director of internet organizing for the presidential campaign of Howard Dean ’71. She re-emerged into political life last month as a leading contender for the Working Families Party gubernatorial endorsement. At the last minute, party leaders made a deal with Cuomo and backed the incumbent.

So Teachout and running mate Tim Wu, a professor at Columbia University, launched their insurgent campaign, “standing up to corporate interests and big money donors.”

She promises a “Summer of Democracy.” It will also be a summer of signature-gathering: Teachout needs 15,000 petition signatures to get her name on the ballot for the September primary. Despite her inexperience as a candidate, the Wall Street Journal calls her “a skilled orator” who “is already adept at dodging questions”—such as how many signatures she has so far.

Teachout does acknowledge that she’s an underdog, adding a definition for “the difference between a protest candidate” and an underdog: “an underdog wants to win.”


The Yale Alumni Magazine is published by Yale Alumni Publications Inc., an alumni-based nonprofit that is not run by Yale University. Its content does not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration.

Filed under Zephyr Teachout, Andrew Cuomo

1 comment

The comment period has expired.