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New York, N.Y. (June 17, 2022) – Today, Citizens Union announced its preferences of Kathy Hochul in the upcoming Democratic Primary for New York State Governor and Harry Wilson in the upcoming Republican Primary for New York State Governor. 

Hochul received overwhelming support among Citizens Union’s board members as the preferred candidate in the Democratic Primary. Randy Mastro, Citizens Union’s Chair, said: “Since assuming office under challenging circumstances, Kathy Hochul has proven to be an effective consensus-builder. But there are challenges ahead, like reducing crime, fixing the problems with bail reform, addressing ethics in government, and protecting a woman’s right to choose. Hochul understands these issues and seems poised to tackle them. She stands out in a strong Democratic field.”

Wilson was the unanimous preference of Citizens Union’s board in the Republican Primary. “Harry Wilson is by far the class of the Republican field,” Mastro said. “An outsider who wants to clean up Albany, he has a proven track record of success in business as a turnaround specialist, and our State surely needs a turnaround specialist. He is also a person of the highest integrity and an independent voice who speaks the truth to power within his own party. He will be a formidable candidate in the general election.”

Citizens Union evaluates candidates based on the following criteria:

  • alignment with Citizens Union’s reform agenda, specifically views on ethics, election reform and police accountability; 

  • ability to advance their agenda once in office; 

  • knowledge of the needs of their constituents; and

  • ability to wage an effective and competitive campaign.

“In her short time as Governor, Kathy Hochul has taken steps to advance government ethics reforms that had no chance of moving forward in the previous administration. She has committed to pursue policies that would strengthen New York’s democracy, including professionalizing the administration of elections. The first woman to hold the highest office in our state, Governor Hochul brought a new collaborative approach to the office and assembled an impressive team of dedicated public servants – many of whom are women – to assist her. We believe that of the candidates in this race she is best positioned to advance Citizens Union’s agenda,” said Betsy Gotbaum, Executive Director of Citizens Union

Harry Wilson would bring a fresh perspective to New York State government. An experienced and knowledgeable problem solver, Harry has demonstrated a willingness to cross the aisle and discuss issues in a fair and practical manner. He is the best candidate in the Republican primary for governor,” Gotbaum added.

Earlier this week, Citizens Union announced preferences of Brent O’Leary (District 37- Queens), Grace Lee (District 65- Manhattan) and Chris LeBron (District 75-Manhattan) in their respective Democratic Primaries for Assembly. All of these seats are open because incumbents have decided not to run for reelection. Citizens Union will be evaluating candidates for State Senate and announcing preferences in advance of the August 23 primary for that office. 

Early Voting for the primary elections for Governor and Assembly begins tomorrow, Saturday, June 18, and runs through Sunday, June 26. Election Day is Tuesday, June 28. 

Citizens Union June 2022 preferences:

Governor of the State of New York – Democratic Primary 

  • Kathy Hochul

Governor of the State of New York – Republican Primary 

  • Harry Wilson 

Assembly District 37 (Queens- Hunters Point, Long Island City, Court Square, Sunnyside, Blissville, Maspeth, Ridgewood, Fresh Pond)

  • Brent O’Leary

Assembly District 65 (Manhattan- FiDi, Chinatown, Lower East Side, Little Italy, Two Bridges, Nolita, East Village)

  • Grace Lee

Assembly District 75 (Manhattan- Chelsea, Parts of Koreatown & Flatiron District, Theater District, Midtown Manhattan, Columbus Circle)

  • Chris LeBron

For follow up, please contact Jake Oliver at Anat Gerstein, Inc. at

[email protected] or 347-361-9983

About Citizens Union 
For 125 years, Citizens Union has been a force for transparency, accountability and ethics in New York’s City and State governments. A nonpartisan organization, some of our current initiatives include a new agenda for police accountability, monitoring the City Council’s redistricting process and increasing civic engagement. Learn more at


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