Democratic candidate for governor Letitia James on Thursday was endorsed by a political action committee that has pushed for increasing Black political engagement and representation in government. 

If elected, James would be the first Black woman in the country to serve as governor of any state.

James secured the endorsement of The Collective PAC in her bid for the Democratic nomination in what is an increasingly crowded field this coming June. The endorsement from the organization comes as New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams this week also announced his candidacy. 

"As governor, we know she will fight tirelessly and fearlessly for systematic change that supports, uplifts and progresses the lives of all New Yorkers forward," said the group's founders, Quentin James and Stefanie Brown James. "As one of our formerly endorsed candidates when she ran and won her current elected office, The Collective PAC is proud to once again help Attorney General Letitia James make history and generational progress in New York.” 

James is also facing incumbent Gov. Kathy Hochul, who is seeking a full term next year. The primary could get even bigger if New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Rep. Tom Suozzi entered the race.  

"I am running for governor because New York needs a changemaker to stand up to powerful interests and I am honored to have the backing of The Collective PAC," James said. "For too long, the Black community has been underrepresented in elected office and every day The Collective PAC is working to change that. I will fight alongside The Collective PAC in this historic campaign as we fight to create affordable housing, create good jobs and take on the status quo that just isn't cutting it for New Yorkers. Together, we will make a more inclusive and better New York."