BUFFALO, N.Y. -- It's fitting on Labor Day that the Cuomo-Hochul ticket would be endorsed by 1199 SEIU - the largest labor union in the state.
"Labor is with me. Labor knows I was with them 100 percent as a member of Congress," said Democrat Kathy Hochul, a candidate for lieutenant governor. "In a tough district, they know I stood with them, and they're standing with me now when I need them."
Members of the health care workers' union at Buffalo's parade said Hochul's record in Congress had a lot to do with it.
"With Hochul on the ticket as lieutenant governor, someone being local, also standing up for health care, I just think it makes sense that we just kind of support people who support us in our fight as far as health care, immigration, that sort of thing," Maurice Brown, 1199 SEIU political coordinator, said.
Hochul has had to answer more questions lately about the endorsements she didn't get. In August, New York's second-largest state employee union, the Public Employees Federation, endorsed the opposing ticket, and just last week, the New York Times endorsed Tim Wu for lieutenant governor.
"If they want to cast me as an underdog, I embrace it, I relish it and I say bring it on because no one is tougher than us here in Western New York," Hochul said.
Hochul brushed aside questions about a New York Post report that Cuomo operatives are eyeing a scenario in which they'd have to dump her.
"Now we've reached new heights of absurdity. That's way over the top. That is false, and I always encourage people who are legitimate news reporters to check the source," Hochul said.
If Wu wins the Democratic primary, it would create a split ticket for the governor with Hochul on the Working Family line.
"I feel the perception that I might need help, even though I feel very good, is actually going to increase the turnout here in Western New York because that's the sense I'm getting all over," Hochul said.
She believes the perception she's in trouble is largely being manufactured by downstate interests.