According to Syracuse.com, the chairs of the Cayuga, Onondaga, Oswego, and Wayne County Democratic Committees have denounced the DCCC for allegedly meddling with the Congressional race after Juanita Perez Williams unexpectedly announced her plans to run for Congress.
“From people engaged for the very first time this year, to party and elected officials we stand united behind our designed nominee Dana Balter and against the DC meddling that has hampered far too many races thus far,” said the Democratic Committees in a statement.
Perez Williams announced her plan to run for the Congressional seat on Monday, April 3, five weeks after the Democratic party met to endorse Dana Balter.
Balter, a Syracuse University professor and political newcomer, has announced her goals to support a Medicare-for-All system, reform the criminal justice system, and strengthen public education.
Up to 50% of the public school workforce in the U.S. is made up of teachers. Balter, who is also a visiting assistant teaching professor in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, has a history of being a teacher herself.
“The club’s very passionate about her,” said Jordan Lally, acting president of the College Democrats.
It’s for this reason that the announcement Perez Williams would also be running against Rep. John Katko came as a surprise. Mark English, the Onondaga County Democratic Committee Chairman, said Perez Williams had said she wouldn’t be running just this past January.
However, Perez Williams has until April 12 to collect the necessary 1,250 petition signatures necessary to successfully get on the ballot. Perez Williams also has teaching experience serving as the associate dean of students at Syracuse University and legal experience as an assistant New York state attorney general.
Democratic leaders say they’re concerned that Perez Williams’ presence in the race against Katko could potentially fracture the party at the time of the November election. Democratic votes that may be split between Perez Williams and Balter could potentially cause Katko to win the 24th Congressional seat.
Perez Williams has yet to make a public statement regarding her decision to run for Congress. The DCCC has declined to comment.