Hillary Clinton on Monday endorsed Democratic congressional candidate Robert Zimmerman for their party's nomination in the Aug. 23 primary.
In a tweet, the former U.S. secretary of State, presidential candidate and first lady said: "Robert has a proven record of standing up to the gun lobby and protecting abortion rights. He'll defend our democracy in a key toss-up race against an extreme right-wing Republican."
Zimmerman, 67, a longtime public relations executive and Democratic National Committee member from Great Neck, is running to replace Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) in the 3rd Congressional District, which covers parts of northern Queens, Nassau and Suffolk counties.
Zimmerman is one of five Democrats vying for the nomination.
Clinton’s endorsement "sends a very important message to Democrats about the candidate she believes has the commitment and values to stand up for women’s rights and the threats to our democracy,” Zimmerman told Newsday.
He said if elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, he would work to protect abortion rights, and support infrastructure development and gun-control legislation.
Zimmerman said he first met Hillary and Bill Clinton in 1992 when Bill Clinton was running for president.
Since then, Zimmerman has supported the Clintons politically through fundraisers and national television appearances.
The other Democratic candidates in the 3rd District primary are: Community organizer Melanie D’Arrigo; former North Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaiman; Nassau County Legis. Joshua Lafazan; and businesswoman Reema Rasool.
George Santos, a managing member of his family firm Devolder Organizations, is the Republican-endorsed candidate in the race.
Santos campaign manager Charley Lovett didn't comment directly on Clinton's endorsement.
"He looks forward to running against whomever his opponent might be in November," Lovett said of Santos.