Western New York Rep. Brian Higgins on Monday became the latest Democrat to back Gov. Kathy Hochul's bid for a full term in 2022 ahead of what's expected to be a crowded party primary in June. 

“I’m pleased to endorse Governor Kathy Hochul for re-election,” Higgins said. “I had the honor of working with Kathy in Congress to fight for Western New York, and I have always been impressed by her devotion to public service and getting things done for our communities. I’ve consistently said this about Kathy: she is motivated to find compromise to better the lives of families across our State. Kathy is the partner Congress needs in Albany to build back our infrastructure, beat back the Delta variant, and stimulate New York’s economic recovery.”

Hochul is competing for the party's nomination against Attorney General Letitia James. More Democrats are expected to join the race in the coming days, including New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and Rep. Tom Suozzi. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has also created an exploratory committee as a precursor to a potential campaign. 

Higgins represents Hochul's native Buffalo and the western New York region in a district that encompasses Erie and Niagara counties. 

“I am grateful for Congressman Higgins’ endorsement of my campaign and his friendship of nearly forty years,” Hochul said. “Brian has been a tremendous partner throughout my career, and he is someone who the people of Western New York have relied on to fight for them in Congress. I’m looking forward to continuing to partner with Brian to deliver results for New York families.”