Democratic Rep. Paul Tonko on Friday endorsed Zephyr Teachout’s bid for the neighboring 19th congressional district.

Tonko, who faces his own re-election for a fifth term this year against GOP candidate Joe Vitolo, praised Teachout as “an independent fighter” who can stand up to special interests.

“She understands that we need to protect our water, cut out the red tape so independent businesses can flourish, and clean up the corruption in Washington. Her positive vision for what our politics can be is a refreshing departure from the overwhelming negativity that people are sick of,” Tonko said. “I strongly endorse Zephyr for Congress because we need more people like her willing to stand up to the status quo and bring the change we need.”

Teachout is locked in a hotly contested and costly race for the Hudson Valley seat against Republican John Faso, a former state assemblyman. The district is being vacated this year by Republican Rep. Chris Gibson.

“Rebuilding our infrastructure means more good jobs for New York workers: lots of good-paying construction jobs in next few years, and a great payoff for businesses and taxpayers over the long run,” Teachout said.