Mosley announces run on Working Families line in November, party begs to differ

pjimage (6)
Assemblyman Walter Mosley lost the Democratic primary to Phara Souffrant Forrest in June, but says he still plans to run on the Working Families Party line come Nov. 3.
Courtesy of Walter Mosley, Phara Souffrant Forrest

Central Brooklyn Assemblyman Walter Mosley announced Thursday that he will run on the Working Families Party line after losing the Democratic nomination to a primary challenger in June — but the party itself begs to differ.

After announcing his run on Twitter, the party’s official account replied to Mosley, clarifying that they had endorsed Mosley’s challenger, Phara Souffrant Forrest in the November election. 

“We’re grateful for your past service, but you conceded in June,” the party said. “We urge all our WFP family in Clinton Hill, Crown Heights, and Fort Greene to vote for @phara4assembly.” 

Reached by phone, Mosley argued that he had every right to run on the WFP line, having earned it after a lengthy process in March, and said he had always been prepared for the possibility of fighting the race to the bitter end. 

“We always knew that every time you get a race there’s the possibility that you’d have to go all the way with it,” he said.

Mosley, a protege of Rep. Hakeem Jeffries who has served Crown Heights, Fort Greene, and Clinton Hill since 2012, said he thought the party’s decision to endorse Forrest for the general was “unfortunate.” 

“I’m not going to say it surprised me or didn’t surprise me, it is what it is,” he said. “I wish them the very best.”

Mosley lost the June primary amid a tidal wave of far-left challengers to Brooklyn incumbents, fueled mainly by the Democratic Socialists of America. Upstart candidates ousted numerous incumbents, including Greenpoint Assemblyman Joseph Lentol and Sunset Park Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, and beat out the establishment favorite to replace outgoing State Senator Velmanette Montgomery in the 25th Senate District.

Mosley was originally endorsed by the Working Families Party for the primary, and lost the Democratic nomination, giving him the legal right to still run on the WFP line despite losing their symbolic endorsement for the general — which the party gave to Forrest last week.

Forrest, a union nurse, celebrated by boasting her progressive credentials.

“I’m so honored to have earned the Working Families Party’s endorsement this past week, and was humbled to win the Democratic Party’s nomination this summer by an overwhelming majority,” she said in a statement Friday. “As always, I am the only candidate in this race refusing all real estate donations and look forward to representing the real interests of this district when I’m in Albany this upcoming January.”