Gov. Andrew Cuomo's endorsement of Rep. Eliot Engel ahead of the June 23 Democratic primary is a bet on the seniority the longtime lawmaker has amassed in Congress over the years, Cuomo said Thursday in an interview with WAMC. 

"Seniority matters and we need help from the federal government," Cuomo said. 

Cuomo is seeking billions of dollars in direct aid from the federal government as the state's finances have been damaged by the coronavirus pandemic. 

"Eliot Engel knows what he's doing. He has seniority," Cuomo said. "We need the power and representation right now."

Engel is facing a competitive Democratic primary against Jamaal Bowman for a district that covers parts of the Bronx and Westchester County. 

Bowman has been backed by prominent members of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.