TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y. — New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) announced a round of endorsements for the campaigns of Tracy Mitrano for New York State’s 23rd congressional district, Leslie Danks Burke for State Senate’s 58th district, and Anna Kelles for state Assembly’s 125th district.

“We need elected officials who will stand up for teachers, School-Related Professionals, medical professionals and those they serve,” said Andy Pallotta, the President of the Union. “We believe this slate of candidates can best deliver for the New Yorkers who will rely on them in the halls of power.”

NYSUT represents more than 600,000 members in the state and this is their first time endorsing Mitrano, who previously ran for this position in 2018 and lost to incumbent and current congressperson Rep. Tom Reed. 

“As a former teacher myself, this is a very meaningful endorsement,” said Mitrano in the press release. “NYSUT members deserve to have representatives who will see that they get the government support they need, especially now as we grapple with the question of reopening schools during a pandemic.”

The Union’s endorsement for Danks Burke’s campaign came with support from local teachers as well. 

“We are proud to endorse Leslie Danks Burke, who for years has been an outspoken advocate for greater investment in our public schools to support students, educators, and their families,” said Pallotta. “As we continue to weather the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s critical that we elect leaders like Leslie who will fight to expand government support for public schools, colleges, and hospitals — the cornerstones of our communities. Leslie is committed to standing up for teachers, School-Related Professionals, medical professionals, and those they serve, and we know she can deliver.” 

Danks-Burke previously ran for this seat in 2016, running against the incumbent and current Representative, Rep. Tom O’Mara.

“I’m the product of public school all my life, from kindergarten through college, my mom was a middle school teacher and union member, and my husband and I are proud parents of two children in public school today,” said Danks Burke. “I’m deeply aware that education for every child is vital to success in our region, state, and nation, and I’m honored to fight alongside the teachers and service professionals in NYSUT to protect our children’s future.”

Both of the candidates had picked up New York’s senior Senator Chuck Schumer’s support earlier this month.

NYSUT’s support for Kelles’s bid came after her win in the primaries.

“Our teachers have already had to deal with underfunded schools and overcrowded classrooms.” said Kelles  “I look forward to working with them and ensuring their voice is always heard and especially now as we are discussing how to reopen schools during this pandemic”

The general elections will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 3.