Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday endorsed Democratic state Senate hopeful Aaron Gladd for a Capital Region-area state Senate district that’s being vacated by the Republican incumbent.

“Aaron is a talented leader and combat veteran who served our nation with pride and distinction as a Platoon Leader in the U.S. Army,” Cuomo said in a statement.

“His commitment to service and to the people of New York is second to none and I know he will fight for our shared values in the State Senate. Whether it’s championing family leave, upstate revitalization, keeping taxes low and wages high – Aaron is the best person to represent the people of the 43rd District. I’m proud to endorse him for State Senate and look forward to continuing to move New York forward together.”

Gladd is running for the seat held by the retiring Republican Sen. Kathy Marchione who has represented the area since 2012. Republicans are backing Daphne Jordan to keep the seat. The district surrounds Albany and is generally a Republican friendly area, making it a difficult seat for Democrats to flip this year.

Still, Gladd last month led Jordan in fundraising.

“Over the last eight years, Governor Cuomo has been focused like a laser beam on Upstate New York – whether it’s fighting for working families, record investment in our local communities, or creating the jobs of tomorrow – the Governor has been a steadfast champion for New Yorkers across this state,” Gladd said.

“As a poor kid from Upstate New York, today’s endorsement proves that opportunity still exists, that no matter where you come from or what family you are born into, that you can be anything. I look forward to working with the Governor to flip the Senate so that we can continue fighting for Upstate New York, protecting women’s reproductive health rights, and making sure that kids who grew up like me will always have a chance to achieve their full potential.”