US Senator Elizabeth Warren, flanked by Senator Debbie Stabenow and Senator Amy Klobuchar leaves after speaking to reporters following a leadership election for the 114th Congress in Washington, Nov. 13, 2014.
Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Working Families Party joins effort to draft Elizabeth Warren

In a major boost for the liberals hoping to draft Sen. Elizabeth Warren into the 2016 presidential race, New York’s Working Families Party voted Sunday evening to join the effort to push Warren to run against likely candidate Hillary Clinton.

“Senator Warren is the nation’s most powerful voice for working families fighting against a set of rules written by and for big banks. That’s the debate we want to see, and that’s why we’re urging Senator Warren to run for President,” said New York Working Families Party Director Bill Lipton.

The party, which is based in Clinton’s home state of New York, and has been aligned with New York City Mayor Bill deBlasio, will join MoveOn and Democracy for America. Together, they are running a $1.25 million campaign to draft Warren. There’s also a Ready for Warren super PAC.

“This is a big deal,” said Anna Galland, executive director of Civic Action. “The Working Families Party played a pivotal role in building the progressive wave in New York City that swept Bill de Blasio into office, and has tremendous electoral clout.”

Democracy for America executive director Charles Chamberlain said WFP brings a “broad, diverse coalition and unparalleled experience doing the grassroots organizing” to the effort.

Warren has repeatedly said she’s not running, and taken none of the steps people considering presidential runs typically make at this point in an election, but the Massachusetts Democrat has electrified some segments of the Democratic base with her message that the system is rigged against middle class families. 

The Working Families Party was created in 1998 to help empower progressives. It caught some flack from the left last year for endorsing New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s reelection over professor Zephyr Teachout. 

WFP, which has been considering joining the draft Warren movement for some time, is a coalition of labor unions, progressive groups and rank-and-file activists. The Communications Workers of America, a large and politically active union, and the community groups New York Communities for Change and the Make the Road Action Fund helped drive the effort to join the draft warren effort inside WFP.