From the Morning Memo:

A labor source says the endorsement of Democratic Senate hopeful Adrienne Esposito on Saturday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo was just the beginning of a concerted effort to raise her name recognition and potentially win the GOP-held seat.

Esposito, an environmental advocate, is running for the 3rd SD seat in Suffolk County that’s being vacated by Republican Lee Zeldin, who is challenging Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop in NY-1.

Esposito was the first Senate Democratic candidate this year to receive an endorsement from Cuomo, who has pledged to help his party capture full control of the chamber as part of his endorsement deal with the labor-backed Working Families Party.

The endorsement from Cuomo comes as the governor himself seeks to promote women’s issues, specifically the Women’s Equality Act, this fall through the campaign.

Esposito faces a not unusual problem for a first-time candidate: She does not have high name recognition, especially compared to her Republican challenger, Tom Croci, the Islip town supervisor.

Overall, the Siena College poll earlier this month found Croci leading Esposito, 56 percent to 29 percent.

To that end, Democrats are investing in the race with a TV ad that began airing over the weekend and plays off of the famous “Rocky” films.

The ad features Esposito running on the beach and through the streets clad in a hooded sweatshirt. People shout “Go Adrienne!” as she passes by.

While it’s a nod to the 1976 boxing movie – fans will recognize the not-so-subtle nod to the fact that “Adrian” was also the name of Rocky Balboa’s wife, and later girlfriend, played by actress Talia Shire – the repetition of the candidate’s name is also a clear effort to let voters know who she is.

The buy for the TV ad is said to be in the six figures, and it dovetails with a radio spot that started airing last week, which refers to Croci as “Tax Hike Tom.”

The labor source says polling has suggested Croci is potentially vulnerable – especially when it comes to the area’s high local property taxes.