Juan Ardila who is running to represent the 30th Council District added another prominent endorsement last week as he aims to unseat Bob Holden, the incumbent.
Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, who is running to be the next Queens Borough President, endorsed Ardila on Friday—as the newcomer aims to represent a district that covers Middle Village, Maspeth, Glendale, Ridgewood, Woodhaven and Woodside.
“Ardila will be a vocal champion in the council for affordable housing, education equity, small businesses, and working families,” said Van Bramer, who currently represents the 26th Council District and is term limited.
Ardila, a Maspeth native who previously worked for Council Member Brad Lander, issued a statement thanking Van Bramer for his endorsement.
“I’m proud to have his endorsement of our campaign, which only further broadens our strong coalition of Democratic support and reconfirms there is only one Democrat running for Council in District 30,” Ardila said.
The challenger is running as a progressive and has been a constant critic of Holden’s Democratic credentials. Holden was opposed to the defund the NYPD movement last year and has pushed back against the placement of homeless shelters in the district.
Holden has held the seat since he beat then-incumbent Elizabeth Crowley in the 2017 general election, just months after losing to her in the Democratic primary. Holden beat Crowley in the general election when he ran on the Republican Party and his own “Dump de Blasio” lines.
Kevin Ryan, a spokesperson for Holden, says Holden has remained a registered Democrat since he was old enough to vote.
Ardila has been endorsed by a number of high-profile Democrats, including Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, State Senators Jessica Ramos and Mike Gianaris, Assembly Member Catalina Cruz as well as City Council members Lander and Antonio Reynoso.
Ryan dismissed the significance of Ardila’s endorsements.
“They don’t mean anything,” Ryan told the Queens Post. “The voters know that Bob Holden has devoted most of his adult life to serving this district as a civic leader for 35 years, as a community board member and other capacities. They know that he knows what these neighborhoods need because he’s been doing it for so many years.”
If elected, Ardila, whose father is Colombian and mother is Honduran-Cuban, would be the first Latino to hold that office.
The primary will take place on June 22.