2:29 pm Aug. 1, 2012
Just over a month after 32BJ celebrated Charlie Rangel's close win in the congressional primary, the influential union has endorsed Rangel's challenger, Adriano Espaillat, in his race for re-election to the State Senate.
Espaillat is reconnecting with a handful of old friends, as he tries to put the congressional race behind him, and fends off a challenge from his longtime rival, Assemblyman Guillermo Linares.
Linares beat Espaillat for a Council race in 1991 and the two have been jockeying for position in the Dominican community ever since.
For all of the racial and ethnic tensions caused by the race, there seem to be few hard feelings among the usual institutional players, and the endorsement from 32BJ continues something of a trend, with supporters who backed Rangel returning to Espaillat's side for the re-election race, including the Working Families Party, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and the Jim Owles Democratic Club.
“I am proud to earn the support of our friends in labor, 32BJ SEIU, and eager to return to the Senate so we can continue working on the important issues of our time: raising the minimum wage, creating well-paying jobs for New York’s working men and women, and protecting their rights to organize and collectively bargain," Espaillat said in a release. "As our campaign for re-election heats up, we will continue to communicate our message of bringing progressive solutions to address New York’s challenges. Together, we will win this campaign and help build a stronger New York for all.”