Senator Chuck Schumer, New York’s most powerful Democrat in Washington, will throw his support behind Representative Jerrold Nadler on Monday in a bruising Manhattan primary contest against the congressman’s longtime ally, Representative Carolyn Maloney.
Mr. Schumer becomes the first member of the state’s congressional delegation to take a side in the Aug. 23 race, which pits two House committee chairs with three decades’ service against one another.
Given his stature — both as the Senate majority leader and as a power broker in his home state — and the relative lack of input from fellow political leaders, Mr. Schumer’s last-minute endorsement could prove decisive for voters torn between two popular incumbents.
“New York has a lot of outstanding leaders, but few of them lead with the courage, conviction and brilliant legislative effectiveness of my friend, Jerry Nadler,” the senator said in a statement shared with The New York Times. “I’ve watched as time after time, Jerry — a critical partner of mine in the House — was right on the issues years before so many others.”
Mr. Nadler and Ms. Maloney ended up in the same district after a state court tasked with reviewing New York’s congressional map approved a redistricting plan that combined Manhattan’s East and West Sides above 14th Street into a single district for the first time since before World War II.
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Mr. Schumer cited Mr. Nadler’s work as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee on impeachments of former President Donald J. Trump, as well as his legislative efforts to try to expand voting rights, protect abortion rights and tighten gun restrictions.
He did not mention Ms. Maloney, the chairwoman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, but a spokesman for Mr. Schumer said that the senator had spoken to Ms. Maloney about his decision.
The senator, who was traveling upstate on Monday, could not immediately be reached for additional comment. Mr. Nadler welcomed the support in a statement on Monday as well, and planned to announce the endorsement later in the day.
The two men have a long history. They served together in the New York State Assembly as young men in their 20s, then represented New York City districts in the House together before Mr. Schumer, a Brooklynite, ran for Senate in 1998 — a crowded race in which he notably won Mr. Nadler’s support.
But given Mr. Schumer’s party leadership role and the competing claims of Mr. Nadler and Ms. Maloney, many political operatives and politicians had expected him to sit out the primary.
That has been the tack adopted by nearly every fellow New Yorker in the House, by House Democratic leadership and by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, the state’s junior senator, despite Ms. Maloney’s having endorsed her unsuccessful campaign for president in 2020.
Mr. Nadler and Ms. Maloney have largely similar voting records, but have taken somewhat different tacks in the race.
Mr. Nadler has highlighted his work as Judiciary Committee chairman and argued that his progressive voting record is purer than Ms. Maloney’s. She has stressed her success in winning federal support for local priorities, like the Second Avenue Subway, and the importance of having a woman representing the district at a time when abortion rights are being rolled back across the nation.
A third candidate, Suraj Patel, is challenging both incumbents, arguing that New York needs a new generation of leaders. Polls show the race remains tight.