Though a number of high-profile Democrats have defected from Rep. Charlie Rangel’s side to back Sen. Adriano Espaillat’s second primary challenge to the veteran Harlem lawmaker, at least one powerful party leader/elected official is refusing to turn his back on his long-time congressional colleague.

Rep. Joe Crowley, who is also chairman of the Queens Democratic Party, sent out a combination fundraising/endorsement email on Rangel’s behalf this morning entitled “Keep Him in Congress.” Crowley noted that he serves on the powerful Ways and Means Committee with Rangel (actually, Rangel chaired the committee, once upon a time).

“I’ve made it my mission to boost the Democratic Party, first in Queens, where I’m the Democratic county leader, and now across the country as the Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus in Congress,” Crowley wrote. “We need leaders like Charlie Rangel who know how important it is to create good, middle-class jobs, improve healthcare, and build a better America.”

“Instead, though, Republicans have spent their time, sitting on their hands, blocking Democrats from making progress. They’ve held dozens and dozens of votes to repeal President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. They’ve blocked votes on the minimum wage, on the DREAM Act and immigration reform, on investing in our infrastructure. On so many important issues, Republicans have opposed progress.”

Crowley also announced in the email that he’ll be headlining a fund-raiser for Rangel this Thursday at Antun’s in Queens Village (a popular political spot). Also expected to attend: Former Gov. David Paterson, Rep. Greg Meeks, and Assemblywoman Vivian Cook.

Oddly, Crowley concludes his email by saying that the Republicans are trying to defeat Rangel. But the Harlem congressman’s bigger problem is the June primary, in which he faces both Espaillat and the Rev. Michael Walrond.

AsCapital NY’s Azi Paybarah notes, Crowley’s decision to stick with Rangel is particularly interesting because of the growing Latino presence in Crowley’s district – something about which the Queens congressman has always been particularly sensitive, worried about a potential primary challenge of his own.

Crowley also backed Manhattan Councilman Dan Garodnick over Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito in the NYC Council speaker’s race, and ended up picking the wrong horse. Mark-Viverito won that battle, becoming the first Latina ever to hold the speaker’s office. She also recently endorsed Espaillat over Rangel in the NY-13 primary, after supporting Rangel against the senator in 2012.