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rep. jerrold nadler will join his fellow west side elected officials and democratic club members in endorsing richard aborn for manhattan district attorney.

in a race where candidates are trying to "out-progressive" one another, an endorsement from nadler, the most liberal member of the city's house delegation, is seen by many as a stamp of approval for aborn.

aborn is running against leslie crocker snyder, a former judge and 2005 district attorney candidate, and cy vance, jr., retiring district attorney robert morgenthau's hand-picked successor.

nadler had met with all of the district attorney candidates, but he felt aborn's early advocacy made him the most progressive candidate in the race. nadler called aborn a true progressive leader on gun control, expanded use of dna evidence and opposing the death penalty.

"he's shown an activism on progressive issues that no one else in this race has," nadler said. "we don't have a crystal ball on these things, but you have to believe how he will behave as district attorney is foreshadowed by how he's behaved in the past. and ditto for other candidates."

nadler also noted that aborn had a broader vision for the office as well as a track record of advancing liberal causes.

"i said to a number of people that i thought cy vance would be a good da," nadler said. "i think that richard aborn would be an outstanding da."

given the upper west sider reputation as reliable democratic primary voters, nadler's endorsement will most likely help aborn's campaign in a race where voters are unfamiliar with the candidates.

"the candidates have good pluses and not many negatives. and all are trying to get themselves known," said a west side political strategist unaffiliated with the campaigns. "somebody of stature with credibility on progressive issues like nadler has can be a big plus."

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