Fashion designer Oscar de la Renta is endorsing Adriano Espaillat in the race for the 13th congressional district. In a statement announcing his endorsement, Mr. de la Renta, who is from the Dominican Republic, called on Democrats and Latinos in particular to back Mr. Espaillat in his quest to become the first congressman of Dominican descent.
“I am proud to endorse Adriano Espaillat for Congress and I call on all Democrats, particularly the Latino and Dominican communities, to join me in rallying behind Adriano’s historic run to change the political landscape of this country,” Mr. de la Renta said. “Our communities are at a crossroads and we need leadership that can help us meet the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Senator Adriano Espaillat’s record clearly indicates that he will bring bold, new ideas to move our communities forward. I am fully committed to add my voice to help elect Adriano to Congress.”
This endorsement isn’t Mr. de la Renta’s first foray into politics. The designer’s dresses have been favored by occupants of the White House for decades. Mr. de la Renta has also made ample contributions to Hillary Clinton, former Democratic House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt, the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee.
For his part, Mr. Espaillat said he was “humbled” to have the couturier’s support.
“We are humbled and energized by the support of Oscar de la Renta, who has joined voters in Manhattan, the Bronx, and beyond, in recognizing that our communities need change,” Mr. Espaillat said.
Mr. Espaillat is one of four candidates who are attempting to unseat veteran congressman Charlie Rangel in the 13th district, which includes Upper Manhattan and parts of the Bronx. Mr. de la Renta’s fellow designers Marc Jacobs and Donatella Versace have yet to weigh in on the race.