State Sen. Adriano Espaillat racked up major support Monday in his second challenge to U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel.
The Bronx County Democrats endorsed Espaillat, calling him an effective leader who will bring change to Washington. The 59-year-old senator is facing a tight race against Rangel, who vies for his 23rd term, for New York's 13th District that includes upper Manhattan and the Bronx.
"Adriano is a proven fighter in our community and I know he will give our residents a strong voice in Washington. I look forward to working with him on his campaign and in Congress on these and so many other issues our residents face," Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said in a statement.
The borough president was one of several Democrats who gave their support including state Assemblyman José Rivera and councilmen Andrew Cohen and Richie Torres.
Rangel's campaign office noted that the "Harlem Lion" has plenty of important endorsements including U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley, who leads the Queens Democratic party.
"From Norwood to Inwood to Harlem, there is strong, grassroots support for Congressman Rangel's reelection," a spokesman said in a statement/
Two years ago, Rangel, 83, edged out Espaillat in the Democratic Primary with 1,086 votes. The state senator promised to fairly represent the Bronx if he wins the June 24th primary.
"Together, we will give a voice to thousands of Bronx residents who have been forgotten in Washington," Espaillat said in a statement.