Rep. Jerry Nadler picked up the endorsement of the progressive Working Families Party, giving him an edge with left-wing activists in New York’s upcoming Democratic congressional primary against Rep. Carolyn Maloney, another veteran incumbent.
New York WFP Director Sochie Nnaemeka wrote in a Wednesday statement that Mr. Nadler “has been a powerful voice for reforming the Supreme Court, reimagining our justice system, and putting diplomacy and engagement over war and aggression.”
Mr. Nadler touted the endorsement on Twitter.
“I’m proud to have earned the endorsement of the Working Families Party. Since its founding, I’ve fought side by side with @WorkingFamilies for civil and immigration rights, improved fast-food working conditions, paid sick leave for NYC workers, and a living wage for all,” he wrote.
He went on to say, “As the only true principled progressive and the best candidate in the race for the new NY-12, I’m honored to have the support of the WFP — which has led the way on so many crucial progressive causes — in my re-election to Congress.”
Mr. Nadler received the backing of the WFP after Justice Democrats-backed candidate Rana Abdelhamid withdrew from the primary Tuesday as New York’s new congressional map was finalized by an upstate court.
The power play move by Mr. Nadler to run on the WFP line is a key in New York, which allows candidates to run on multiple party lines beyond the two major national ones.
Since December 2021, New York officially recognized four political parties: the Conservative, Democratic, Republican, and Working Families parties.
The court’s appointed special master, who redrew the state’s congressional lines, drew together a portion of Manhattan’s west side represented by Mr. Nadler and Mrs. Maloney’s east side portion and numbered it the 12th District, the name of Mrs. Maloney’s original district.
Both lawmakers’ outer-borough portion, in Queens and Brooklyn, were cut away from the new 12th District.
Ms. Abdelhamid, who lives in Brooklyn, decried the redrawing.
“The new NY-12, which was drawn through an undemocratic process, no longer includes Queens or Brooklyn,” Ms. Abdelhamid said in her announcement. “That means that in my home and my community, which includes, working class, Black and brown, Muslim and Arab communities of interest in Queens, were all divided into two districts, NY-7 and NY-14, diluting our opportunity for representation and political power.”
Ms. Abdelhamid planned to face Mrs. Maloney before the maps were redrawn, and the WFP on Wednesday said it had supported Ms. Abdelhamid over Mrs. Maloney until she ended her campaign.
Mr. Nadler and Mrs. Maloney have known each other for decades and have been involved in city politics for about 50 years at different levels of government.
Each was elected to Congress in 1992 and currently are chairs of the major House panels — Mr. Nadler heading the Judiciary Committee and Mrs. Maloney chairing the Oversight panel.
New York’s congressional primaries are scheduled for Aug. 23.