Croton-on-Hudson Democrat Justin Wagner picked up a big endorsement Monday in his race for a state Senate seat, with U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand unveiling her support for the political newcomer.
Gillibrand, a Democrat who is facing her own challenge from conservative Manhattan attorney Wendy Long, touted Wagner’s stance on women’s issues.
“At every level of government, women are under assault from conservative extremists who want to turn back the clock on equal pay, workplace equality, and reproductive rights,” Gillibrand said in a statement. “I need partners like Justin who will stand up for the rights of women to receive equal pay for equal work and to make our own healthcare decisions.”
Wagner and Ball are locked in a closely watched race, with the balance of the state Senate up for grabs come November. Republicans currently hold a 33-29 edge, with a 63rd seat added for 2013.
Democrats across the state (and country) have tried to make women’s issues a major campaign issue, particularly in the state Senate.
Ball, meanwhile, has taken steps to reach out to women voters as well, touting his support for an “equal pay” bill and launching a “Women4Ball” campaign.
UPDATED: His campaign also knocked Wagner late last week for accepting contributions from his employer—a common theme for the Ball camp—while attempting to tie him to 2010 comments made by a fellow Weil, Gotshal & Manges attorney. In a Friday news release, the Ball campaign touted his voting record when it comes to state-level fair pay bills, which Ball claims he voted in favor of five times while in the Assembly.