WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, NY — Completing an important week in the delayed primary to represent the Downtown 31st District in the State Senate, incumbent Robert Jackson announced a string of major endorsements on Tuesday — a day after his opponent announced the support of the representative Adriano Espaillat.

On Monday, Angel Vasquez announced Espaillat’s approval. Hours later, Jackson announced he would host an event Tuesday with former Congressman Charlie Rangel, Assemblyman Jose Rivera and other elected officials.

Jackson represents the district that covers the majority of Washington Heights and all of Inwood since 2018.

Find out what’s happening in Washington Heights-Inwoodwith free real-time Patch updates.

At an event in the Bronx on Tuesday, Jackson announced that Rangel, Rivera and state senators Cordell Cleare, Al Taylor and Eddie Gibbs would all support him.

“I am honored to receive endorsements from these leaders who have been at the forefront of the fight for education, safety and justice,” Jackson said at the event. “It’s not just names on a piece of paper. They are leaders who live here, who represent the communities most affected and who are committed to working hard to win this campaign and continue the work we are doing.”

Find out what’s happening in Washington Heights-Inwoodwith free real-time Patch updates.

The announced endorsements join a long list of other elected officials who have voiced their support for Jackson in the upcoming race, including Council Member Gale Brewer, Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal and State Senators Andrea Stewart-Cousins , Jamal Bailey, Alessandra Biaggi, Jose Serrano. , Gustavo Rivera, Jon Liu, Brad Hoylman, Julia Salazar and Jessica Ramos.

Jackson has also been endorsed by a long list of unions which Patch will detail closer to the election.

He is not, however, the only candidate to win mentions.

Espaillat endorsing Vasquez came on the heels of Council members Shaun Abreu, Carmen De La Rosa, Eric Dinowitz and Oswald Feliz also giving their support to the candidate for the first time last week.

The story between the people involved

There’s quite a history between Jackson and a collection of names involved in this year’s election.

Jackson served as a council member for Downtown District 7 from 2001 to 2013, before being served on a time limit.

After coming in third place in a bid for Manhattan borough president that same year, Jackson moved on to the state Senate.

It was there that influential figures in the upcoming state Senate race first crossed paths competitively.

Jackson first ran in 2014 for the state Senate District 31 seat against then-incumbent Espaillat — who had held the position since 2010.

Espaillat ended up pushing Jackson back — but it was close — with the current congressman winning with 50 percent of the vote to Jackson’s 43 percent.

Two years later, in 2016, Espaillat decided to run for the U.S. House of Representatives to replace the incumbent Rangel (who endorsed Jackson on Tuesday), freeing up the downtown state Senate seat. .

Jackson opted to run for the job again, this time against Espaillat-backed Marisol Alcantara and another competitive candidate, Micah Lasher.

The race was even tighter this time, with Jackson finishing in third place.

  • Alcantara: 33%
  • Lasher: 31%
  • Jackson: 30%

However, Alcantara was unable to hold the siege for long.

Also, importantly during this time, Vasquez, who is now running against Jackson, becomes Alcantara’s chief of staff in 2017.

In 2018, Jackson fights for the seat again against Alcantara and beats her relatively comfortably.

Jackson won with 56% of the vote against 39% for Alcantara.

Part of the explanation for Alcantara’s loss in 2018 can be traced to his decision to join the Independent Democratic Conference shortly after his election to the Upper Manhattan seat, which was a group of Senate Democrats from the United States. state that has allied itself with the Senate republications, allowing the party to control the chamber.

Jackson will now be the one to be challenged in August by Vasquez.

The challenge comes with a change to district maps, which means the state’s 31st Senate District will include more of the Bronx and less of the Upper West Side and Hell’s Kitchen.

Only time will tell how it turns out.


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