The prospect of a nasty primary between two Latest York Democrats in neighboring U.S. House districts faded away early Saturday morning.
Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.), a first-term progressive, announced on Twitter that he was selecting to not compete in a primary against Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), who chairs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and announced plans earlier this week to run for the seat Jones currently holds.
As a substitute, Jones plans to run in Latest York’s newly drawn tenth Congressional District, which consists of lower Manhattan and several other contiguous neighborhoods in central and south Brooklyn.
Jones, certainly one of Congress’ first two openly gay Black men, noted that lower Manhattan is home to the Stonewall Inn, where an rebellion in 1969 launched the LGBTQ rights movement.
“That is the birthplace of the LGBTQ+ rights movement,” he tweeted shortly after Latest York state’s court-appointed special master released the ultimate congressional district maps. “Since long before the Stonewall Rebellion, queer people of color have sought refuge inside its borders.”
Jones’ announcement alleviates tension that had been constructing since Monday when the special master released an initial draft of latest congressional district maps. (The ultimate maps published early Saturday morning contain minor changes from the Monday draft.)
Immediately after the Monday maps got here out, Maloney, who currently represents Latest York’s 18th Congressional District, announced that he planned to run within the redrawn seventeenth Congressional District.
The step was controversial because Jones presently represents Latest York’s seventeenth, which comprises suburban communities and small cities north of Latest York City.
Under the boundaries unveiled on Monday, Maloney would live within the seventeenth and Jones not would live in his district. But the brand new seventeenth consists mostly of communities currently held by Jones, not Maloney.
Jones cried foul, complaining that Maloney had failed to offer him notice before announcing the choice.
“Sean Patrick Maloney didn’t even give me a heads up before he went on Twitter to make that announcement,” Jones told Politico. “And I believe that tells you all the things that you must find out about Sean Patrick Maloney.”
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), who chairs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, angered many Democrats by immediately announcing plans to run in Jones’ seat.
Manuel Balce Ceneta/Associated Press
Jones’ allies in Congress and the world of progressive activism offered additional objections.
Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.), a first-term lawmaker who together with Jones is an openly gay Black man in Congress, argued that Jones needs to be viewed because the incumbent in Latest York’s seventeenth by default, and accused Maloney allies of “thinly veiled racism” for arguing that Jones could be a greater ideological slot in a unique seat.
That Maloney seemed to be putting Jones within the position of selecting between running against him and running against Rep. Jamaal Bowman, a fellow Black progressive in his first term, added insult to injury. (In the brand new map, Jones and Bowman each live within the sixteenth Congressional District, which Bowman represents in Congress.)
Other Democrats accused Maloney of putting his own electoral fortunes ahead of the party’s, in defiance of his responsibilities as head of the DCCC, House Democrats’ campaign arm. Maloney’s current seat, Latest York’s 18th, was drawn to increase farther into conservative, rural communities in upstate Latest York, making it a harder seat for him to carry.
If Maloney followed through on plans to run against Jones, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) told Politico he should resign as head of the DCCC.
Ultimately though, Jones decided that despite his grievances with Maloney, he didn’t need to compete for Latest York’s seventeenth. It’s possible that Jones feared a seventeenth District that prolonged farther north into more rural counties would prove less amenable to his progressive brand ― and potentially put him in danger in the overall election.
As a native of Rockland County and resident of Westchester County, Jones is now prone to face criticisms of his own for running in an area he has never represented in elected office before.
Although Jones has ample campaign money, he’s resulting from compete in a crowded field of Democrats who already live in, or represent, Latest York’s tenth. Former Latest York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D), a resident of Brooklyn’s liberal Park Slope neighborhood, and state Sen. Brad Hoylman (D) have each announced their intentions to run for the seat. Latest York Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou (D) and Latest York City Councilwoman Carlina Rivera have also indicated that they plan to run in the first for the safely Democratic seat.
Jones may have until Aug. 23 to introduce himself to voters within the tenth. (Earlier this month, a federal judge required Latest York state to postpone its June congressional primaries to supply time for candidates and voters to regulate to the brand new maps.)
Jones suggested on Twitter that he plans to run on his record prior to now two years, corresponding to helping shepherd the American Rescue Plan, infrastructure laws, investments in inexpensive housing, and protection of LGBTQ rights.
“I’m excited to make my case for why I’m the best person to guide this district forward and to proceed my work in Congress to save lots of our democracy from the threats of the far right,” he wrote. “In my first term in Congress, I actually have worked hard to deliver real results for Latest York State.”