U.S. Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.) endorsed Alexandria City Council member Rob Krupicka (D) on Saturday in the race to replace retiring state Sen. Patricia S. Ticer (D-Alexandria).

Connolly said Krupicka “has the experience, energy and character to be an effective leader in the state Senate.”

“Through his work on the City Council, the State Board of Education, his environmental leadership with Alexandria’s Eco-City program, his in-depth knowledge, and advocacy for mass transit solutions, and his state and national experience on early childhood education policy, he has established himself as a progressive champion for Northern Virginia,” he said.

The endorsement came at Krupicka’s official campaign kickoff at the Birchmere music hall in Alexandria. He faces Arlington School Board member Libby Garvey and Del. Adam P. Ebbin (Alexandria) in the Democratic primary. Earlier this month, Ticer endorsed Garvey.

The exact boundaries of the district will not be clear until legislators redraw the lines next month. The district is the state’s most reliably Democratic, and the November election will probably be determined by the Aug. 23 primary.