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San Juan mayor endorses Morse for Congress in MA primary

San Juan mayor endorses Morse for Congress in MA primary
© Twitter/Carmen Yulín Cruz

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz endorsed the congressional primary bid of Alex Morse on Tuesday in a pair of bilingual video messages praising the candidate's connection to the Puerto Rican community.

In the videos touted by Morse's campaign in Massachusetts, Cruz explained how as mayor of Holyoke, Mass., Morse welcomed many Puerto Ricans displaced by Hurricane Maria's devastation on the island territory in 2017.

“When Puerto Ricans did not receive the necessary help from Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpJudge rules to not release Russia probe documents over Trump tweets Trump and advisers considering firing FBI director after election: WaPo Obama to campaign for Biden in Florida MORE, Alex Morse opened the doors of Holyoke, Mass.,” she said in a Spanish version of her endorsement.

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“I know Alex Morse,” she said in the English version. “And I know that he understands the urgency of the moment. He knows that this is a time for action — that this is a time for everyone to be seen. He knows that he needs to go to Congress to fight for you.”

Morse, who is mounting a competitive primary bid against House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard NealRichard Edmund NealOn The Money: Kudlow confident that Trump can 'round up' Senate GOP behind coronavirus relief deal | US deficit spikes to record .1T Top Democrat: Tax credit expansions must be in next coronavirus relief package Treasury withheld nearly M from FDNY 9/11 health program MORE (D-Mass.), thanked the mayor for her endorsement.

“When the federal government ignored the pain and suffering of the people of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, and while other officials remained silent, Mayor Cruz was the leading voice for the most vulnerable people on the island,” Morse said in a statement. “I was proud to partner with her in the wake of Hurricane Maria, and I will be proud to partner with her in Congress as we build a federal government that works for the people."

A week out from the Massachusetts primary, Morse's race has been dominated by headlines detailing a scandal in which The Intercept reported that members of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst's College Democrats chapter worked to take down Morse by spreading vague allegations about the 31-year-old mayor acting inappropriately. 

One student involved was found in leaked chats to have speculated that his work to smear Morse could be beneficial when applying for internships with Neal. Neal has denied any connection to the effort.