The mayoral campaign of Dianne Morales, a former non profit executive, effectively paused on Tuesday with just 28 days left until the crucial Democratic primary in New York City.
Multiple sources who spoke to The Uprising described intense drama brewing behind the scenes that led Morales to declare a day off and to miss a crucial forum on Tuesday. A Morales campaign source provided a copy of a Slack message the candidate sent to her staff on Tuesday morning.
“I encourage you to take time for self care today, even if that means suspending the usual campaign activities,” Morales wrote in that message.
Morales, a relative political unknown, made waves in the mayor’s race with an unabashedly progressive platform. Despite exceeding expectations, thus far, she has failed to break into the top tier of candidates in most polls. Signs of more serious trouble for her campaign first emerged on Tuesday evening when author, reporter, and general man about town Ross Barkan tweeted “multiple sources telling me senior staff have quit the @Dianne4NYC campaign over a lack of pay.” The drama spilled even further into public view on Tuesday night when, Morales did not appear at a forum hosted by Rev. Al Sharpton and his National Action Network to commemorate George Floyd’s death. Sharpton said Morales’ provided him a note saying she had a “family emergency.”
Multiple sources who spoke to The Uprising and requested anonymity to candidly discuss behind the scenes issues said the problems on Morales’ team went beyond pay. Three separate sources also said Morales’ campaign manager, Whitney Hu, was one of the people who left the team. Both Hu and the Morales campaign did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Two sources, including one on the Morales campaign, said there were allegations of abusive behavior from campaign leadership and even the candidate herself. The two sources also said there was alleged inappropriate behavior from a staffer who was perceived as being close to Morales. Those sources along with a progressive activist who similarly requested anonymity said those issues were supposed to be addressed at a meeting on Monday night. However, Morales didn’t attend that meeting, adding to her staff’s anger.
“It was like an accountability meeting and she skipped it,” the activist said.
In the Slack message, which was provided to The Uprising by the campaign source, Morales apologized for missing a meeting and promised to hold another discussion after the day off.
“Regardless of how you spend your day, I hope you will join us tonight,” Morales wrote, later adding, “Please feel free to DM directly with any concerns in the interim. Much love.”
A source said that meeting took place on Tuesday evening. They further said the meeting and not a “family emergency” was the reason Morales missed the forum.
This is a developing story and it may be updated. Read Morales’ full Slack message below.
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