Rick Brand Portrait of Newsday reporter Rick Brand taken on

Rick Brand is a longtime Newsday reporter who writes about politics and government on Long Island.

Former Southampton Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst has added the first statewide official, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, to the list of elected Democrats who are backing her Congressional bid.

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Gillibrand said Throne-Holst has “dedicated herself to helping create more opportunities for New Yorkers,” especially “those who need it most.” Backers tout Gillibrand’s support because she is well known statewide and her backing can move Democrats to Throne-Holst’s side in the primary race to face Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) next fall.

Gillibrand joins a half dozen other current and former House members in backing Throne-Holst, including Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, who endorsed the former supervisor last week. David Calone, former chairman of the Suffolk Planning Commission, is also seeking the Democratic nomination for the seat and is expected to face Throne-Holst in a primary.