Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez endorsed activist Ana Maria Archila for lieutenant governor over the handpicked running mate of Gov. Kathy Hochul, Lt. Gov. Antonio Delgado.
The endorsement from Ocasio-Cortez potentially can give Archila a boost with progressive voters ahead of the June 28 primary for lieutenant governor. Early voting for statewide campaigns and state Assembly began last weekend and runs until Sunday.
“I am incredibly honored to receive the support of Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez, a bold champion who fights every day to put the needs of working families before the wants of billionaires," Archila said. "Her election showed New Yorkers’ hunger for leaders who will reject the expectation that our communities should just wait for what we need, and forcefully demand that our needs come first."
Archila is running in a three-candidate field against Delgado and former Councilwoman Diana Reyna, the preferred running mate of U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi. Candidates for governor and lieutenant governor run separately in party primaries and the winners of the nominations form an official ticket for the general election.
Archila is running with New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.
Delgado was elevated to the lieutenant governor's post in May after the resignation of ex-Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin following an indictment on fraud and bribery charges. Benjamin has pleaded not guilty.
Delgado is a former congressman from the Hudson Valley who has started campaigning for the nomination in earnest this month, blanketing TV and radio airwaves with ads and sending direct mail to Democratic voters.
He's picked up endorsements from labor leaders in recent weeks, and on Tuesday was endorsed by Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, a top Democrat in the House of Representatives and a prominent Brooklyn lawmaker.
“Working with Lieutenant Governor Delgado in Congress, I was struck by his tenacity towards passing legislation and funding that directly affected the lives of his constituents,” Jeffries said. “He is driven by a will to serve others, and I’m confident that he is the best choice for Lieutenant Governor to bring people together and deliver results.”