With their hands raised in the air, members of the Staten Island Democratic Committee overwhelmingly voted Tuesday night to endorse Max Rose as their candidate for Congress.
The 31-year-old war veteran was one of seven candidates hoping to win the party's backing for the Congressional seat representing Staten Island and a slice of Southern Brooklyn.
"I'm more excited to do this than I ever have been, and I'm absolutely honored and humbled by all the support we've seen so far," Rose said.
In the district, like elsewhere in America, President Trump has energized the opposition. National Democrats have identified the seat as one that they hope to win back, tapped as part of its so-called "Red to Blue" program.
That support and an aggressive fundraising campaign have helped Rose raise more than $800,000 for his campaign war chest.
"I'm very confident that we're going to have enough money to push out our message, but more importantly than that, it's the right message because it's truthful," Rose said.
Even though Rose won the backing of the Democratic County Committee, he will likely face challengers in a June primary.
But with a field of relative unknowns, the Democratic primary won't be nearly as watched as the Republican one.
Former Congressman Michael Grimm, who served seven months in prison for federal tax evasion, is running for his old seat against the Republican who succeeded him in Washington, Dan Donovan. Both Republicans have aligned themselves with President Trump:
"The people of Staten Island are owed a better kind of representation," Staten Island Democratic Party Chairman John Gulino said. "I think Michael Grimm entering the race makes a big difference."
A big difference, but one that will still present a challenge for the Democrats; even though they outnumber Republicans in the borough by five to three, Republicans have emerged victorious in a majority of Congressional races in the last 30 years.