NEW YORK (AP) — Democratic U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries is endorsing Kathy Hochul in the New York governor’s race.

Jeffries, who represents Brooklyn and Queens, said in a statement Sunday that Hochul is a “tireless advocate for all New Yorkers.”

Jeffries is seen as a strong contender to succeed Nancy Pelosi as the top Democratic lawmaker in the U.S. House and is among the most influential members of New York’s congressional delegation. Ten other Democratic members of the state’s House delegation have endorsed Hochul, who became governor in August when then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned.

Hochul, who hails from Buffalo, has emerged as a front-runner in the governor’s race as she seeks the office on her own but has sought to bolster her ties to New York City and areas like Brooklyn, where her more liberal challenger Jumaane Williams hails from.

Williams is New York City’s elected public advocate who has won the endorsement of the progressive Working Families Party.

Also running in the Democratic primary is U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi, who represents Long Island and has hammered Hochul for not doing more to address crime levels in New York City.

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