City Hall News: Influential Union Leader Shaking Up Brooklyn Democratic Rifts

Written by Staff on . Posted in Posts.

In a move that would deepen a rift between Brooklyn Democratic power
brokers, Wilfredo Larancuent, an influential union leader, is seriously
considering a primary challenge to Brooklyn  Sen. Martin Dilan,
according to four sources with knowledge of Larancuent’s thinking. —

Larancuent, who was involved in the 1998 founding of the labor-backed
Working Families Party and is a member of its 13-member executive
committee, has approached multiple labor officials to gauge their
interest in a 2012 primary run against Dilan, who has held office for a

Larancuent has deep ties in progressive labor circles and among
immigrant rights groups. He has run the 5,000-member, largely immigrant
Laundry, Dry Cleaning and Allied Workers Joint Board for the past 11
years, has been a key player in the national labor movement, and helped
devise the strategy for the WFP’s considerable successes in the 2009
election cycle.

Reached by phone yesterday, Larancuent declined to comment.

Larancuent’s candidacy would likely exacerbate rising tensions
between the Working Families Party and Brooklyn Democratic Party leader
Vito Lopez, still simmering after a contested special election in
Bushwick this summer. During that race, the WFP backed Jesus Gonzalez,
an organizer with Make the Road New York, over Rafael Espinal, an aide
to New York City Councilman Erik Martin Dilan who ran with Lopez’s

Similar battle lines could spring up around a hypothetical
Larancuent-Dilan matchup. Andrew Friedman, co-executive director of Make
the Road New York, the immigrant advocacy group whose members
volunteered heavily for Gonzalez’s Assembly campaign, indicated that
members of the organization would be fully on board with the challenger.

– Chris Bragg

To read the full report, head to City Hall News