Noted designer Oscar de la Renta endorses Espaillat for Congress

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Noted designer Oscar de la Renta endorses Espaillat for Congress

Federal campaign filings also reveal over 60,000 dollars raised in 11 days

Story by Debralee Santos

On Tuesday, the man who became the first Dominican to design for a French couture house endorsed the man who is seeking to become the first Dominican member of Congress.

This past Tues., Apr. 17th, fashion designer Oscar de la Renta announced his support for New York State Senator Adriano Espaillat’s candidacy for Congress against incumbent Charles B. Rangel – and called on all Democrats to do the same.

“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,” said De la Renta.

He further praised the Senator’s record and pledged his support in the upcoming Congressional primary for the newly created 13th Congressional District, which is Latino-majority at 52.7% and includes parts of the Bronx.

“Our communities are at a crossroads,” added De la Renta. “We need leadership that can help us meet the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Sen. Adriano Espaillat’s record clearly indicates that he will bring bold, new ideas to move our communities forward. I am fully committed to add my voice to help elect Adriano to Congress.”

De la Renta has a history of supporting the veteran Dominican elected official in his campaigns. In 2005, he endorsed the then- New York State Assemblymember in his race for Manhattan Borough President.

Sen. Espaillat welcomed the support of De la Renta.

“We are humbled and energized by the support of Oscar de la Renta who has joined voters in Manhattan, the Bronx, and beyond, in recognizing that our communities need change,” said Sen. Espaillat. “This campaign must be a vigorous debate about ideas and issues that affect the people in Manhattan and the Bronx. I look forward to continuing to engage voters with passion and energy, and building on the strong support our campaign has already received.”

The endorsement also comes a day after campaign filings on Monday indicated that Sen. Espaillat has raised as much money in the past 11 days as Congressman Rangel had in the past three months.

Based on Federal Election Commission documents filed Sunday, in the less than two weeks between March 20th and March 31st, Sen. Espaillat collected over $62,000.

Meanwhile, Congressman Rangel’s re-election efforts had garnered $67,000 in the months between January 1st and March 31st.

And on Monday, Ruben Dario Vargas, the candidate who had collected 1,600 signatures in his efforts to unseat Congressman Rangel, announced that he would abandon his campaign and was throwing his support to Sen. Espaillat.

“This election is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our community,” said Vargas. “With the stakes so high, I think it’s important for the community to unite behind a candidate who can make help us make history, and that candidate is Senator Espaillat.”