Nixon endorses Salazar in Bushwick senate race
Julia Salazar, a first-time candidate running against incumbent state Sen. Martin Malave Dilan in the Democratic primary on Sept. 13 in Bushwick, has picked up a major endorsement in the race.
On Monday, actress-activist Cynthia Nixon, who is challenging Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the Democratic primary, came to Bushwick to announce that she is backing the upstart Salazar.
And Salazar returned the favor, endorsing Nixon in her quest to unseat Cuomo.
Like Salazar, Nixon is also making her first run at public office.
“Julia and I are both running insurgent, progressive campaigns. Like thousands of other women across the country who are running for office for the first time this year, Julia and I looked at who is in charge and the job they were doing and realized that if we want things to finally change, we’re going to have to step up and do it ourselves,” Nixon said.
Nixon’s endorsement of Salazar came a week after she announced that she is backing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the new star of the Democratic Party who rocked the political establishment by beating longtime U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley in a primary in a Queens congressional district on June 26.
The cross-endorsement between Nixon and Salazar took place at a rally in Maria Hernandez Park on Knickerbocker Avenue, the spot where Salazar fist announced her candidacy in April. Salazar and Nixon were joined by leaders of New York Communities for Change, the first organization to get behind Nixon’s candidacy.
In her endorsement, Salazar praised Nixon’s proposals to protect tenants from exorbitant rent increases, fix the city’s broken subways, and enact policies to helping the working class.
“Cynthia is showing true courage by fighting the real estate interests that have controlled our state for too long. We know that a better world is possible,” Salazar said, a tenant organizer.
Salazar, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, is seeking to unseat Dilan, an eight-term incumbent who represents the State Senate’s 18th District.
In addition to Bushwick, the district takes in parts of several neighborhoods in northern Brooklyn, including Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Cypress Hills, City-Line, East New York, Bed-Stuy and Brownsville.
Dilan, has served as a state senator since 2002. Prior to that, he served on the City Council for 10 years. He started his political career by running for a seat on his local school board, Community School Board 32, in the late 1970s.
In an interview with the Brooklyn Eagle in April when Salazar first announced her candidacy, Dilan said he did not fear the competition.
“My constituents know my record of service,” he told the Eagle.
Salazar is not the first member of the left-wing Democratic Socialists of America party to run for public office in New York City.
In 2017, the Rev. Khader El-Yateem, a Palestinian church pastor, ran for a City Council seat in Bay Ridge with socialist support. He came in second in the Democratic primary to Justin Brannan. Brannan went on the win the general election.
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