Zephyr Teachout

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Zephyr Teachout
Zephyr Teachout.jpg
Teachout at the 2014 New York City LGBT Pride March
Born Zephyr Rain Teachout
(1971-10-21) October 21, 1971 (age 44)
Seattle, Washington, United States[1]
Nationality American
Education Yale University
Duke University School of Law
Occupation Associate Professor of Law
Organization Fordham University

Zephyr Rain Teachout (born October 21, 1971) is an American academic, activist, and Congressional candidate. She is an Associate Professor of Law at Fordham University. She won the 2016 Democratic primary for Congress for New York's 19th Congressional district, and in November will face Republican John Faso. In 2015, Teachout held the positions of CEO and Board chair for the US-based anti-corruption nonprofit Mayday PAC, replacing Lawrence Lessig.[2] She ran for the Democratic Party nomination for Governor of New York in 2014 and lost to incumbent Governor Andrew Cuomo, receiving 34% of the primary vote.[3]

Early life[edit]

Teachout,[4] the second of five children, was born in Seattle, Washington to Peter Teachout, a constitutional law professor at Vermont Law School, and Mary Miles Teachout, a state court judge.[5] Her father served in the United States Army as a Lieutenant during the Vietnam War and has a law degree from Harvard Law School.[5] She was raised on a farm outside of Norwich, Vermont.[4][5] She attended Hanover High School in Hanover, New Hampshire, where she was a champion cross-country runner.[5]

Teachout attended Yale University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1993. She went on to receive two simultaneous degrees from Duke University in 1999: a JD summa cum laude and a Master of Arts in political science.[6] After attaining her law degree, Teachout clerked for Chief Judge Edward Roy Becker of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.[7]


She is a tenured Associate Professor of Law at Fordham Law School and previously a Visiting Professor of Law at Duke University and a lecturer at the University of Vermont.[7]

Teachout is an antitrust and media expert who served as the Director of Internet Organizing for the 2004 Howard Dean presidential campaign. She cofounded A New Way Forward, an organization built to break up big banks,[8] and was involved with Occupy Wall Street.[9] Teachout was also the first national director of the Sunlight Foundation.

2014 New York gubernatorial campaign[edit]

Teachout shaking hands with National Writers Union (UAW Local 1981) president Larry Goldbetter at the "We Will Not Go Back" march and rally held on August 23, 2014.

Zephyr Teachout faced off against incumbent Andrew Cuomo as well as comedian Randy Credico in the Democratic primary election on September 9, 2014. Her running mate was Tim Wu.

During the Working Families Party convention to nominate a candidate for the 2014 gubernatorial election, Teachout lost a nomination bid against incumbent Governor Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo's margin of victory was much closer than expected, especially since the Working Families Party traditionally cross-endorses the Democratic Party candidate.[10]

After losing the Working Families Party nomination to Cuomo, she announced that she would be running for the Democratic nomination for governor.[11] Her running mate was Lieutenant Governor candidate Tim Wu, a Columbia University law professor who coined the phrase "net neutrality".[12][13][14] Their campaign raised $800,000, a small amount for New York state politics.[15] Four days before the primary election polls showed their likely voter share at 26%, in line with the predictions of political professionals.[16] She and Wu lost to Cuomo and his running mate, former U.S. Representative Kathy Hochul in the primary on September 9, 2014,[17] but surprised experts and pollsters by capturing over 34% of the vote, with an especially strong showing in upstate New York.[18][19]

2016 New York 19th District Congressional campaign[edit]

Teachout is running for Congress against Republican John Faso in New York's 19th congressional district. The two candidates are competing to replace Republican Chris Gibson, who is retiring at the end of the current term. On the June 28, 2016 primary, Teachout won the Democratic nomination. Teachout was endorsed by presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.[20]

Selected publications[edit]


  • Corruption in America: From Benjamin Franklin's Snuff Box to Citizens United (Harvard University Press, September 2014)[21]
  • Mousepads, Shoe Leather and Hope: Lessons from the Howard Dean Campaign for the Future of Internet Politics (Paradigm Publishers, 2007) (ed. with T. Streeter)[22]



  1. ^ Blumenthal, Paul (May 6, 2015). "Zephyr Teachout Puts America’s Corporate Elites On Notice". Huffington Post. 
  2. ^ "Team and Board". Mayday PAC. July 27, 2015. Retrieved July 27, 2015. 
  3. ^ Orden, Erica (September 10, 2014). "Cuomo Fends Off N.Y. Democratic Gubernatorial Primary Challenge". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved September 10, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Klopott, Freeman (August 5, 2014). "Cuomo Foe Teachout Finds Energy in Corruption Panel Mess". Bloomington. Retrieved October 16, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c d Hallenbeck, Terri (August 5, 2014). "Former Vermonter stirring up NY politics". Burlington Free Press. Retrieved October 16, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Zephyr Rain Teachout J.D. '99, A.M. '99, Accidental Internet Guru". Dukemagazine.duke.edu. Retrieved 28 December 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "Zephyr Teachout bio". Fordham University School of Law. Archived from the original on January 1, 1970. Retrieved 28 July 2014. 
  8. ^ "A New Way Forward - Restore the Economy in the Public's Interest". anewwayforward.org. Retrieved 2014-06-14. 
  9. ^ "Cuomo caves to get Working Families Party nod". New York Post. Retrieved 28 December 2014. 
  10. ^ "Zephyr Teachout splits the W.F.P., and maybe Cuomo's base | Capital New York". capitalnewyork.com. Retrieved 2014-06-14. 
  11. ^ Jacob Fischler. "Exclusive: Progressive Ticket Will Challenge Andrew Cuomo And His Running Mate In New York Primary". buzzfeed.com. Retrieved 2014-06-14. 
  12. ^ Wu, Tim, "Network Neutrality, Broadband Discrimination", freepress.net, April 23, 2005.
  13. ^ "Tim Wu Elected Board Chair At Free Press". Columbia Law School. 14 April 2008. 
  14. ^ Bray, Hiawatha (21 December 2010). "FCC passes New Neutrality Rule". Boston Globe. 
  15. ^ "Cuomo Spent Nearly 40 Times More Than Teachout To Win Primary - FDL News Desk". News.firedoglake.com. Retrieved 28 December 2014. 
  16. ^ "Pro-Teachout poll puts Cuomo challenger at 26%". MSNBC. Retrieved 28 December 2014. 
  17. ^ "New York State Primary Election Results". Elections.nytimes.com. Retrieved 28 December 2014. 
  18. ^ "New York State Primary Election Results". Elections.nytimes.com. Retrieved 28 December 2014. 
  19. ^ "Zephyr Teachout's primary loss has air of a victory party". NY Daily News. Retrieved 28 December 2014. 
  20. ^ Zephyr Teachout: progressive endorsed by Sanders looks to fix 'corrupt' Congress, The Guardian, Adam Gabatt, July 3, 2016. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  21. ^ Teachout, Zephyr (September 8, 2014). Corruption in America: From Benjamin Franklin’s Snuff Box to Citizens United. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674050402. 
  22. ^ Teachout, Zephyr; Streeter, Thomas (September 2007). Mousepads, Shoe Leather, and Hope: Lessons from the Howard Dean Campaign for the Future of Internet Politics. Paradigm Press. ISBN 978-1-59451-484-5. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]