AOC backs Brooklyn Councilman Brad Lander in NYC comptroller primary

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Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Wednesday boosted a Brooklyn comrade’s bid to become the Big Apple’s top budget watchdog, endorsing lefty Councilman Brad Lander for comptroller.

The endorsement comes just days after the Democratic primary race was turned upside down by the late entry of Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who brings significant name recognition and a campaign war chest to the previously sleepy Democratic primary contest.

“Brad understands that, for government to be able to deliver the bold transformative change we need, it has to work for and with the people,” said Ocasio-Cortez (D-Queens/The Bronx) in a statement released by Lander’s campaign Wednesday morning.

Scoring the backing of the high profile self-described socialist is a coup for Lander’s campaign, which is attempting to win the June 22 Democratic primary by consolidating support among left-leaning voters and activists.

The Brooklyn councilman’s effort had stalled after Johnson (D-Manhattan) jumped into the race — a decision that came after the speaker abandoned his much-anticipated mayoral bid, citing mental health challenges from the coronavirus pandemic.

The two are among a half-dozen major candidates seeking the Democratic Party’s nod for the November general election.

Other contenders include state Sen. Brian Benjamin (D-Manhattan), state Sen. Kevin Parker (D-Brooklyn), Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Queens) and former television news presenter Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, who challenged Ocasio-Cortez in the 2020 congressional primary.

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