The New York Working Families Party endorsed Jackson Heights resident Jessica González-Rojas in her primary challenge against Assemblyman Michael DenDekker Thursday.
In pledging their support, NY-WFP State Director Sochie Nnaemeka praised González-Rojas’ record fighting for healthcare as a human right and for racial justice.
“The Working Families Party is proud to endorse Jessica González-Rojas, a nationally recognized expert on healthcare who will be a leader on moving New York towards a system that recognizes high-quality and accessible healthcare as a human right,” Nnaemeka said. “The 34th District is one of the most diverse districts in the country, and this community now has the opportunity to not only elect the first Latina to represent them, but also the only progressive in the race with a consistent record of fighting for racial justice. We’re excited to stand with Jessica and work together to make New York work for all of our communities.”
DenDekker has represented the district, which is made up of 88 percent people of color and is approximately 60 percent Latinx, since 2008. He has not faced a primary or general election opponent until now.
“I am proud of my past accomplishments, and I am not afraid to compare my record with any other candidate,” DenDekker said.
The daughter of an immigrant father from Paraguay and a Puerto Rican mother, González-Rojas was on the founding board of New Immigrant Community Empowerment and a founding member of Jackson Heights’ New Visions Democratic Club. For the past 13 years, she has led a national organization dedicated to expanding healthcare access, building Latinx power, and advancing reproductive justice.
“It is a great honor to have the Working Families Party endorse our campaign,” González-Rojas said. “We are building a movement to bring progressive change to the 34th Assembly District and I can’t think of a better partner to work with than WFP. Our collective values and commitment to the working people in our communities will be an enormous boost to our coalition.”
Former Manhattan prosecutor Nuala O’Doherty Naranjo, a Jackson Heights civic leader is also challenging DenDekker in the Democratic primary on June 23.