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Robert F. Kennedy Jr. endorses Ken Jenkins for Westchester County exec
An icon of the Democratic Party in the Hudson Valley, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., endorsed Board of Legislators chairman Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers) for Westchester County executive on Tuesday.
“Ken has the moral fiber, administrative talent, idealism and beef jerky toughness to stand up to the big shots, end the corruption and restore Westchester as the Empire State’s paradigm of good government,” Kennedy said in a statement released by the Jenkins campaign.
The scion of the Kennedy dynasty and founder of Riverkeeper cited Jenkins’ record on protecting the environment as an important reason for his support.
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Jenkins and Kennedy have worked together on promoting renewable power, banning the dumping of hydrofracking waste in the county and opposing elimination of county staffers who enforce environmental regulations.
“Ken has a record of fearless leadership on the environmental issues that have been the central focus of my political activism,” Kennedy said in the statement. “Ken has the courage and independence to stand up to the big polluters and reckless developers who devalue our property values, endanger our health and safety and diminish our quality of life.”
Kennedy’s endorsement is the latest to reaffirm the liberal bona fides of Jenkins, a former head of the Yonkers NAACP. Numerous labor unions in recent weeks have backed Jenkins, who is known as a political street fighter who can land, and take, a rhetorical jab.
The endorsement is certainly a plus for Jenkins on the eve of the county Democratic Party’s convention on Wednesday.
Jenkins and New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson are considered the two front-runners for the party’s nomination to challenge Astorino’s re-election bid in November.
Legis. Bill Ryan (D-White Plains) is widely perceived to be running third in the three-man race.
Pundits have said Ryan's endorsement would be good news for either Bramson or Jenkins, not only because his supporters would then presumably be more likely to cast their votes for the candidate endorsed, but also because Ryan is an Irishman whose support would resonate with that demographic group in the general election.
Looks like Jenkins already has it covered.