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2016 Election House Teachout

FILE - New York's 19th Congressional District Democratic candidate Zephyr Teachout visits supporters on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016, in Hudson, N.Y. Teachout ran against Republican John Faso. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

Mike Groll

A leading progressive in New York politics is throwing her support behind Democratic candidate Dana Balter in the 24th Congressional District race. 

Zephyr Teachout, who challenged Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the 2014 Democratic primary and ran for Congress in 2016, endorsed Balter, D-Syracuse, to face U.S. Rep. John Katko. 

"Dana will stand against big money interests and put the hardworking families of central New York first, working for economic opportunity, affordable health care, and high-quality public education for everyone," Teachout said in a statement. "Her campaign has the energy and grassroots support needed to take on John Katko and win in November."

Balter, a Syracuse University professor and activist, entered the 24th district race in September. In February, she won the Democratic designation from the four party committees in the district. 

While she remains the front-runner for the Democratic nomination, she is facing a primary challenge. Juanita Perez Williams, a former Syracuse mayoral candidate, launched her congressional campaign earlier this month. Perez Williams is seeking the Democratic line. 

The primary is scheduled for Tuesday, June 26. 

Teachout's support is the latest endorsement Balter has received from the Democratic Party's progressive wing. She has been endorsed by the national Indivisible movement and has the support of the organization's chapters in central New York. 

Other groups, including Uplift Syracuse, have endorsed Balter. 

Balter and Teachout have something in common that is unrelated to politics: They are both professors. Teachout is a law professor at Fordham University. 

"Zephyr Teachout is a champion for working families and she is one of the country's leading voices against political corruption," Balter said. "I am honored to receive this important endorsement." 

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