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Socialist Illapa Sairitupac wins AOC endorsement in East Side Assembly race

BY DASHIELL ALLEN | Illapa Sairitupac, a candidate for Assembly in District 65, has picked up the endorsement of prominent leftist Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (often referred to as AOC), who represents parts of Queens and the Bronx.

Sairitupac was already endorsed by the Democratic Socialists of America, who are backing a slate of candidates across New York City and New York State — all of who are now also supported by AOC.

The 65th District runs along Manhattan’s East Side from the Financial District to the lower parts of the East Village. It’s currently repped by Yuh-Line Niou, who is now running for Congress in the newly drawn 10th District.

“As the son of immigrants, I’m proud to have the endorsement of AOC, a fearless defender of immigrants’ rights,” Sairitupac said. “As a mental-health social worker, I’m proud to have the endorsement of a strong fighter for Medicare For All. And as a climate organizer passionate about a Green New Deal for New York, I’m proud to have the endorsement of a climate champion who popularized the idea of a Green New Deal in the first place.”

A staffer for Sairitupac told The Village Sun they’re confident they’ve built a winning campaign. D.S.A.’s strategy is to “have hundreds of volunteers knock on tens of thousands of doors,” he said.

Since 2018, the organization has been successful in every state legislative race in which it has run a candidate. However, D.S.A. was less successful in last year’s City Council primaries, in which just two of the organization’s six endorsed candidates won.

“Given expected turnout, we believe we’ve identified enough supporters to win,” the staffer said, adding they’ve so far knocked on more than 30,000 doors.

Sairitupac is up against community activist Grace Lee, who previously ran for the seat in 2020, as well as Denny Salas and Alana Sivin, a former legal defender.

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