Representation matters. And several candidates see the open 10th Congressional District seat as a critical opportunity to help racially diversify Capitol Hill.

“Building Latino power at a critical moment starts in NY-10,” Carlina Rivera said, a City Council member.

“Asian Americans are obviously the most underrepresented group in politics and we are also the most and fastest growing ethnic population in the United States,” Yuh-Line Niou said, a State Assembly member.

New York City’s U.S. House delegation currently includes four Hispanic representatives and one Asian American.

What You Need To Know

  • Reps. Nydia Velázquez and Adriano Espaillat enthusiastically back Carlina Rivera in House primary

  • Yuh-Line Niou has nods from State Senator Julia Salazar and Assembly Member Marcela Mitaynes

  • Endorsements appear more ideologically than racially consistent

  • The NY-10 voting age population is 18.4% Hispanic and 22% Asian, according to CUNY

Congress members Nydia Velázquez and Adriano Espaillat want Rivera as their colleague in Washington, D.C.

“Just like me, Carlina connects with voters and their concerns whether they live in a brownstone or live in public housing,” Velázquez told NY1.

“She is also honest and hard-working. And on top of that, she’s Latina, too!” Espaillat told NY1 of Rivera.

The other non-white candidate in the top tier is Mondaire Jones, backed by several House colleagues of color, albeit from outside New York.

Niou doesn’t have yet endorsements from congressional representatives.

Among her surrogates is her Assembly colleague Ron Kim.

“Yuh-Line and I, it’s always been about sticking up for working immigrants and that’s not just about Asian Americans,” Kim said. “It’s about all communities that were impacted by bad policies.”

The voting age population in the district encompassing lower Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn is 18.4% Hispanic and 22% Asian, according to data collected by CUNY’s Center for Urban Research.

But ethnic and identity politics are no longer a reliable metric.

“I think it also matters that we’re not monoliths, right?” Niou said. “I think that historically, someone who’s Dominican, Puerto Rican or Mexican, they might vote different. Historically, if you're somebody who’s from Fujian or Toisan or if you’re Hakka, you might vote differently.”

The endorsements appear more ideologically than racially consistent.

Niou is also backed by State Senator Julia Salazar and Assembly Member Marcela Mitaynes.

Rivera is endorsed by former City Council Member Margaret Chin.

“This is about what are the issues that are facing the everyday New York, so I get questions on inflation and the price of food and housing and the effects of climate change,” Rivera said.

Niou and Rivera both listed coastal resiliency and housing as their priorities.

And there’s broad agreement that Democrats must not take any minority votes for granted.

“Bringing in Latinos and Asian Americans, embracing them and create an infrastructure where people feel that they are respected, that they are listened to, and that is not happening,” Velázquez said.

“As they say often, if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu,” Espaillat said. “And so, want to be at the table. The Asian American community wants to be at the table. The African American community wants to be at the table.”

Pastor Yan Xiong and community organizer Jimmy Li are the other candidates of an Asian descent on the packed NY-10 ballot.