Add another Latino voice in the State Legislature to the list of endorsements for State Senator Adriano Espaillat’s congressional campaign. Queens State Senator José Peralta announced he was hopping on board this morning, joining Bronx Senator Gustavo Rivera in supporting their colleague’s campaign against longtime Rep. Charlie Rangel. For his part, Mr. Rangel is expected to get his own prominent backer later today with the endorsement of Bronx Borough Rubén Díaz Jr.
“As a fellow legislator, I have watched Adriano fight for New Yorkers with great passion and energy,” Mr. Peralta said in a statement released by Mr. Espaillat’s campaign. “He has taken on Republican attempts to cut Medicaid, fought for affordable housing by extending and strengthening rent regulations which kept millions of tenants in their homes, and expanded opportunities for immigrants.”
Mr. Rangel’s district, of course, has been reconfigured to be majority-Latino, and Mr. Espaillat’s chances in the race largely depend on his ability to consolidate and turn out Latino voters (while making inroads elsewhere, naturally), so if Mr. Peralta’s endorsement generates a few stories in the Spanish-language press highlighting the June 26th Democratic primary, then it likely did its part.
The incumbent is not without his own prominent endorsements from the Latino community, of course. In addition to Mr. Diaz, he’s got East Harlem Assemblyman Robert Rodriguez’s backing early on in his campaign. Mr. Rangel also has the formal backing of the Bronx and Manhattan Democratic Parties as he also seeks to fend off three additional challengers: former DNC political director Clyde Williams, businesswoman Joyce Johnson, and community activist Craig Schley.