- Associated Press - Thursday, July 17, 2014

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s re-election campaign and prominent Democrats said Thursday they are seeking to add a new Women’s Equality ballot line to the November ballot.

Cuomo’s running mate, lieutenant governor candidate Kathy Hochul, announced the new party in New York City and said it will support initiatives important to women, including a 10-point women’s legislative agenda that has repeatedly failed to pass the Legislature.

New York election law allows major party candidates to also run on third-party ballot lines, allowing their names to appear multiple times on the ballot under different ballot lines. The organizers of the new party will choose which candidates to endorse.

“The new Women’s Equality Party will bring together the strength and power of our state’s women leaders,” Hochul said.

To get the new line on the ballot, supporters will need signatures from 15,000 voters.

Cuomo’s opponent in the governor’s race, Republican Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, is also seeking the creation of a new ballot line called Stop Common Core for voters unhappy with the state’s new educational standards.

In both cases, the new ballot lines would help shore up the candidates’ bases of support.

Cuomo’s name will already appear on the Democratic, Working Families and the Independence parties. Astorino’s name will appear on the Republican and Conservative party lines.

The creation of the Women’s Equality Party comes a month after lawmakers adjourned without passing the 10-point women’s equality agenda. The legislative package includes help for victims of domestic violence, tougher human trafficking laws and an abortion provision that would seek to match state law with the abortion rights spelled out in Roe v. Wade.

The bill, which is supported by Cuomo, passed the Assembly but not the Senate. Senate leaders say they support nine of the 10 provisions but object to the abortion measure. Assembly leaders rejected their calls to split up the package to allow separate votes on each provision.

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