UPPER MANHATTAN — The race for 13th Congressional District in Upper Manhattan got a boost from the fashion world when esteemed dressmaker Oscar de la Renta endorsed State Sen. Adriano Espaillat’s bid.
De la Renta, who is also a native of the Dominican Republic, said in a public statement Tuesday that he believes the State Senator will bring the community “bold, new ideas.”
“I am proud to endorse Adriano Espaillat for Congress and I call on all Democrats, particularly the Latino and Dominican communities, to join me in rallying behind Adriano’s historic run to change the political landscape of this country,” he said.
“Our communities are at a crossroads and we need leadership that can help us meet the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.”
Espaillat said he is “humbled and energized” by the show of support.
Espaillat’s camp also announced it has hired Shammeik Barat, a Harlem native and long-time aide to Gov. David A. Paterson, to run its campaign.
The appointment of Barat, who is of Dominican descent, comes one week after Rangel’s campaign announced it had hired Dominican native Moises Perez to act as its campaign manager.
Moises, the scandal-scarred former leader of Alianza Dominicana, stepped down from his post following a city investigation into the group's financing that discovered improper transactions between Pérez, Alianza and a company that lends money to nonprofit organizations.