Hudson Valley congressman enters New York City primary

A New York City congressional race that already includes former Mayor Bill de Blasio is getting more crowded with Hudson Valley Rep. Mondaire Jones announcing Saturday that he’s also running for the seat.

Shortly after the final congressional district maps were released to the public early Saturday morning, Jones surprised many by tweeting:

“I have decided to run for another term in Congress in # NY10. This is the birthplace of the LGBTQ + rights movement. Since long before the Stonewall Uprising, queer people of color have sought refuge within its borders. ”

The 10th district now includes much of Lower Manhattan and extends into Park Slope and Borough Park in Brooklyn. Currently, Jones represents New York’s 17th Congressional District, encompassing all of Rockland County and parts of Westchester County.

De Blasio announced earlier on Friday he planned to run for the 10th district, as well.

Jones faced a primary challenge from fellow Hudson Valley Democrat, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, who announced he would run in the redrawn 17th district after draft maps were released Monday. The chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee drew criticism from progressives for challenging an incumbent representative in a district Jones represented much of already.

Instead of facing Maloney in a primary or running in Bowman’s 16th district in Westchester, Jones is now headed into the city to make his case to Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn voters.

Along with de Blasio, other elected officials are eyeing a run in the 10th district, including Lower Manhattan Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou, who announced her candidacy at a Chinatown event in the district Saturday morning. She was joined by one-time gubernatorial candidate and actress Cynthia Nixon, who endorsed her.

“It is not enough to elect more Democrats if they are not willing to cause good trouble. We must elect the right Democrats,” Niou said in a statement. “I am running to hold accountable the people who rigged our economy, trashed our climate, profiteered during a pandemic, and cheered on the rise of white supremacist violence like what we saw in Buffalo.”

Lower East Side Council member Carlina Rivera tweeted Friday night she was “excited for NY-10’s possibilities” as she spoke with family and local leaders ahead of the maps release. Manattan State Senator Brad Hoylman announced Saturday he would be returning to Albany instead of running for the congressional seat. Assemblymember Robert Carroll also declined to run.

Elsewhere in Manhattan, the special master’s 12th Congressional District remained consistent with the draft lines he released earlier in the week, setting up a primary between longtime Democratic leaders Rep. Jerrold Nadler and Rep. Carolyn Maloney. Both have announced their intention to run in the district spanning the Upper West and Upper East Sides.

At an unrelated event Saturday, Maloney called the situation “unfortunate,” but argued for her claim to the district she lives in, saying more than 60% of the district is currently represented by her under the old maps.

“I’ll say that I’ve never lost an election and I don’t intend to now,” Maloney said. “Throughout my life, they’ve always asked me to step aside, that women shouldn’t be here, shut up. I’m not shutting up. I’m not stepping aside.”

She said she called Nadler to ask him to work on a lawsuit against the new maps with her and he told her it was a waste of time, only to see him announce his intention to run for the district hours later.

“I look forward to running in the new NY-12 – which includes my long-time residence and many communities I have represented throughout my entire career in public service,” Nadler said in a statement early Saturday. “This new district belongs to no individual candidate, but instead to the voters who call it home.”

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