Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes on Wednesday will endorse fellow Buffalo resident Kathy Hochul as part of her bid for a full term in the race for governor next year.

Peoples-Stokes is the second-ranking lawmaker in the state Assembly, the highest-ranking Black woman in the Assembly and the highest-ranking Buffalo state lawmaker in Albany.

“It is a tremendous privilege to endorse my good friend Kathy Hochul to continue serving as our governor,” Peoples-Stokes said in a statement obtained by Spectrum News 1 on Wednesday. “Over the years, I have watched Kathy fight for New York families at every level of government—and she has continued to do so as the leader of our state. Kathy is a breath of fresh air for the state of New York: a leader who is willing to work as a partner and find common ground in order to move our state forward."

Her endorsement of Hochul comes after Attorney General Letitia James began her campaign for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. James could soon be joined in her challenge to Hochul by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and Rep. Tom Suozzi.

“I am humbled to earn the endorsement of Majority Leader Peoples-Stokes,” Hochul said. “From the earliest days of my career, I have greatly admired Crystal’s extraordinary dedication to public service and to the people of our great state. Crystal’s history-making ascension to Majority Leader is an inspiration. She is a strong fighter for equality and social justice and an unparalleled fighter for the people she serves. I’m extremely proud to have her support, and I look forward to working with her to continue to deliver results for New York families.”