Public Advocate Tish James Endorses State Senator Adriano Espaillat

Public Advocate Tish James. (Photo: Ross Barkan)

Public Advocate Tish James. (Photo: Ross Barkan)

She didn’t back his congressional primary bid, but Public Advocate Tish James has endorsed State Senator Adriano Espaillat for re-election in Albany.

“I am proud to endorse Senator Espaillat for re-election. Adriano has been a champion for uplifting working families and empowering our communities,” Ms. James said in a statement.

She continued: “As we approach the renewal of rent laws, Sen. Espaillat’s valuable experience fighting for tenants and his commitment to protecting and expanding rent regulations will make him a great partner in the Senate. Together, we can make sure the promise of New York remains attainable to working families across our city and state.”

Ms. James bucked the trend among many Democratic elected officials in late June when she threw her support behind Congressman Charles Rangel in his ultimately victorious primary fight against challenger Mr. Espaillat.

But in this race she’s backing Mr. Espaillat, who faces his own primary challenge for his long-held State Senate seat from former Councilman Robert Jackson, a Rangel ally who has the congressman’s endorsement.

“I’m thrilled to earn the endorsement of Public Advocate Letitia James, a trailblazer and long-time progressive leader who is committed to advancing the progressive agenda in New York City and around the state,” Mr. Espaillat said in a statement.

Ms. James is not the first Rangel ally to endorse Mr. Espaillat for re-election to the State Senate. Last week, Assemblyman Herman Farrell Jr., who backed Mr. Rangel against primary challenges from Mr. Espaillat in 2012 and 2014, also chose to endorse Mr. Espaillat in his re-election bid — but he noted to the Observer the endorsement was in no way a rebuke of his friend Mr. Rangel.

With the congressional primary having been held in late June, Mr. Espaillat faced a quick turnaround into re-election mode — having just days to gather signature and just a few months before primary day in September.