U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand endorsed Democratic state Senate candidates Karen Smythe of SD-41 and Aaron Gladd of SD-43 in their runs for office.

Smythe is challenging Republican incumbent Sen. Sue Serino, who is seeking a third term in the state Senate. This is her first bid for public office.

“Karen Smythe is a community and business leader who has the skills, experience, and dedication needed to serve Hudson Valley families in the State Senate,” U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said. “Karen has helped grow the local economy, ensured her employees had fair wages and good benefits and improved the quality of life for her community. I am proud to endorse Karen for the 41st State Senate District, and I know she will work tirelessly to ensure Hudson Valley communities get the state aid and support they deserve.”

Gladd, an Army veteran, is competing for retiring Republican Sen. Kathy Marchione’s seat. He faces Republican candidate Daphne Jordan.

“Aaron’s personal story of pulling himself out of rural poverty, becoming the first in his family to graduate from college and enlisting to serve his country is not only inspirational, but it’s also a testament to the fact that he is a fighter for upstate New York. And just as he has his entire life, I know that Aaron will be ready to fight for his district when he joins the senate this November to represent the 43rd Senate District.”

Both candidates have been endorsed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.