3:32 pm Jun. 22, 20121
In the first of what is reported to be a handful of impending congressional endorsements, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his support for incumbent Representative Nydia Velazquez this afternoon.
Velazquez is facing her first tough primary fight after 20 years in the House, and the endorsement from Cuomo adds to a list that already includes President Obama, Chuck Schumer, Kirsten Gillibrand and Sheldon Silver.
Cuomo waited until after the legislative session had concluded to make his endorsements, by design.
In this case, Cuomo is opposing the chair of the Assembly Housing Committee, Vito Lopez, who doubles as the Kings County Democratic chairman, and is heavily promoting Velazquez's challenger, Councilman Erik Dilan.
Here is the full statement from Cuomo, as circulated by Velazquez's campaign:
"I am proud to endorse Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez for reelection to Congress.
"Nydia is one of New York's strongest advocates in Washington and she has proven time and again that she gets things done. Whether it is bringing much needed federal dollars for public housing, education and our green spaces or leading the charge to pass the Dream Act in the House, she can always be counted on to deliver results.
Nydia is also a fierce fighter for her community and a strong voice promoting Democratic values in Congress. She has worked hard to provide access to quality health care for all and to protect women's reproductive rights. And during these challenging economic times, she has fought for job creation and extending unemployment benefits for those struggling to find work.
"I urge all Democrats in the 7th Congressional District to vote in next Tuesday 's primary to re-elect Nydia Velázquez to Congress."