The head of New York’s NAACP is backing Gov. Kathy Hochul in her 2022 election bid, her campaign announced Monday.
Hazel Dukes — president of New York’s chapter of the civil rights group — praised the newly minted chief executive as multiple local politicians consider launching campaigns to oust her next year.
“Throughout her life and career, Governor Kathy Hochul has consistently stood up for the voiceless and marginalized in our communities,” Dukes said in a statement. “As an elected official, she has shown an unparalleled ability to listen and govern with compassion.”
“I am proud to endorse Governor Kathy Hochul, and I look forward to working with her to deliver for all New Yorkers for years to come.”
Dukes, formerly a close ally of disgraced ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in August called herself the “second mother” of former State Sen. Brian Benjamin, whom Hochul selected to serve as the state’s lieutenant governor.
“It is a tremendous honor to be endorsed by Dr. Hazel Dukes,” Hochul said in a prepared statement. “Dr. Duke’s dedication to lifting the voices of the underrepresented, promoting civil rights, and fighting for the poor has made her a hero both here in New York and across the country.”
The endorsement comes as state Attorney General Letitia James, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Rep. Tom Suozzi have all recently signaled they may run against Hochul in the June Democratic gubernatorial primary.
Hochul took office when Cuomo stepped down amid the fallout from his monumental sexual harassment probe. Shortly after, She said she’d campaign for a full term as governor.