National progressive figure Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) announced on Friday that he was backing Jenifer Rajkumar in her run for New York state Assembly.
Khanna, known as a fighter against the monopolization of the tech giants and advocate for non-interventionist foreign policy, said that he believed Rajkumar would bring representation and new energy to the district.
“Jenifer Rajkumar’s candidacy represents a new generation of young women who have independent voices and truly represent their communities. Elevating promising women like Rajkumar will change our political discourse for the better. I have known Rajkumar for years,” Khanna said.
Rajkumar, an Indian-American lawyer, is running to be the only member of South Asian descent to represent New York City in the state legislature. The 38th Assembly District includes Woodhaven, Ridgewood, Richmond Hill, Ozone Park and Glendale.
Though Khanna’s endorsement represents a leftwing shot in the arm for Rajkumar’s campaign, the challenger sided with a more right-leaning crowd on a recent local issue.
Last week, Rajkumar courted voters in Glendale, a more conservative pocket of Queens, where she rallied with them against a proposed large-scale homeless shelter in the neighborhood. At the event, she appealed to the interests of homeowners whose property values might be affected by the development.
In addition to her experience as a lawyer for a public interest law firm and a law professor at CUNY, she previously worked under Gov. Andrew Cuomo as the director of immigration affairs and special counsel for the New York Department of State.
Her opponent Assemblyman Mike Miller, who also has expressed support of the homeless shelter opponents, has been in office since 2008. His resume includes numerous community posts from the Ridgewood community board to an administrator for the Greater Ridgewood Youth Council.