ICYMI: Here’s Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand making a plea on behalf of Democratic NY-26 candidate Kathy Hochul at a reception in Manhattan yesterday at which the junior senator received NARAL’s annual Champion of Choice award.

While other high-profile Democrats (like, say, Gov. Andrew Cuomo) are keeping their distance from this race, Gillibrand is all in for Hochul. She recently endorsed the Erie County clerk, and sent her supporters a fundraising appeal on Hochul’s behalf and said yesterday that she will be in WNY the weekend before the May 24 special election to do some in-person campaigning.

Gillibrand invoked what some are calling the NY-23 theory – that a Tea Party candidate (in this case, Jack Davis) will siphon votes from the Republican favorite, Assemblywoman Jane Corwin, providing a path to victory for Hochul. If you believe the polls, it appears that’s exactly what’s happening.

“There are so many candidates that need your help,” Gillibrand told the NARAL audience yesterday. “Kathy Hocuhl’s election is this month….Let me tell you about this candidate. She’s running in Chris Lee’s seat. Do you know who Chris Lee is? He’s the guy who emailed that photo of himself, no shirt.”

“So, she’s running in that district. Its a very Republican district. Its been Republican for a long time. But it’s a three-way race and there is a Tea Party guy in the race that’s going to take the votes away from the Republican. So, if you want to get a House seat and you want to take back this House, get involved in that race. It’s just in a couple weeks. We can win that race.”

“And so if you get involved, if you send money, if you literally go up there and campaign on the weekend before the election- I’m going to be there, will you join me there? Please join me there. Those are things we can do, together.”