This article originally appeared in the New York Daily News on Jan. 6, 2020.
The city’s largest public employee union endorsed Councilman Donovan Richards for Queens borough president on Monday, promising a boost for the pol from thousands of its members.
District Council 37 has some 46,000 members, retirees and their family who live in Queens, where a special election for borough president will be held March 24.
“Our support is going to make a significant difference in this race,” DC 37 executive director Henry Garrido said in a statement, noting Richards has served his constituents in Southeast Queens and the Rockaways “with distinction.”
“He has labored tirelessly for improved public safety and more affordable housing in his district,” Garrido said. “We believe that he will take this level of energy and commitment to Queens Borough Hall.”
DC 37 represents social service and child care workers, hospital staff and maintenance employees, among other titles.
Richards said he was proud to have DC 37’s support given how hard the union “works to protect their members and advocate for the rights of workers.”
“For many of our families, labor unions are the path to the middle class and the dream of home ownership,” Richards said. “As Queens Borough President I’ll always ensure that the issues of organized labor and the concerns of working men and women are part and parcel to our comprehensive solutions.”
There are five other candidates vying to replace former BP and current Queens district attorney Melinda Katz.
Councilmen Jimmy Van Bramer and Costa Constantinides, former Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, police reform advocate Anthony Miranda and longtime Queens prosecutor James Quinn are also running for borough president.
After the March special election, which will temporarily fill the seat, there will also be a June primary and a November general election to see who will be BP during the final year of Katz’ term, 2021. There will also be a primary and general election next year for a full, four-year term starting in January 2022.