WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer on Tuesday became the second top Democrat to endorse Colleen Deacon in the race for the 24th Congressional District seat.
Deacon, 38, of Syracuse, is seeking the Democratic nomination to challenge U.S. Rep. John Katko, R-Camillus, in the 2016 election.
Deacon is the former director of U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's regional office in Syracuse. Gillibrand endorsed Deacon after she announced her candidacy at the beginning of October.
Schumer, D-N.Y., said Tuesday that he is impressed by Deacon's strong work ethic and knowledge of issues affecting Central New York.
"Colleen has been an integral part of Senator Gillibrand's Central New York office over the last six years and her knowledge and love of the area are clear," Schumer said in a statement.
"She has a proven ability to solve difficult problems and get work done for the district, and will be a strong advocate for Central New York as a member of Congress," Schumer said.
The endorsement of Schumer, in line to become the Senate Democratic leader after the 2016 election, could help fuel an infusion of cash to Deacon's campaign from Democrats across the state and nation.
Deacon, a single mother who struggled early in her career to pay her bills, maintains she is the best candidate to relate to Central New Yorkers and help fight for the region.
"I can relate to the challenges they face and I know the enormous potential we have here," Deacon said Tuesday. "I've juggled single parenthood, a career, running a household, paying the bills, and I know what is important to the people of District 24."
She added, "I'm thrilled to have the support of Senator Schumer, who has been a champion for the state of New York for his entire career, and I am looking forward to bringing my experience and my background to Congress to work with him to help create an environment where everyone in Central New York can thrive."
Other Democrats are still considering whether to enter the race with Kingson, 69, of Manlius, and Williams, 52, of Baldwinsville. If there is a Democratic primary for the congressional seat, the election would be June 28.