Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a tight ally of Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, today backed Bronx Assemblyman Michael Blake’s campaign for Democratic National Committee vice chair—his highest-power endorsement to date.
Blake, a veteran of President Barack Obama’s presidential campaign and the White House, announced that he was running for the position last December. The 34-year-old assemblyman’s platform—”Build Our Bench. Strengthen Our Party. Embrace Our Future.”—centers on building up dynamic candidates for local offices and recruiting top strategists in the DNC, spearheading a mentorship-based candidate support program, holding a quarterly messaging workshop with top party staff and officials and being a national surrogate for statewide and local party fundraisers, trainings and meetings.
Gillibrand—the Democrat who replaced Hillary Clinton as the junior senator from New York in 2009—said that Blake has the “determination, experience and energy” to help rebuild the Democratic Party after the hemorrhaging of the past two election cycles.
“I endorse New York Assembly Member Michael Blake because I know as DNC vice chair he will bring invigorating change in leadership to the party because of his proven campaign experience and wins in state and local elections throughout the country,” Gillibrand said in a statement. “Assembly Member Blake is exactly the progressive voice we need to help us rebuild our movement, unite Democrats, and forcefully push back against President Trump and obstructionist Republicans.”
Blake, for his part, said that he appreciates Gillibrand’s endorsement and praised what he described as her leadership on issues such as immigration reform, advocating on behalf of military families and keeping illegal guns out of New York City, among other issues.
“Now, as I campaign across the country with a new vision called #LeadershipForTomorrow, I am honored to have the endorsement of Senator Gillibrand who—within our state and party—has been such a dynamic force for progress,” Blake said in a statement.