A pair of progressive Democrats may jeopardize the party’s chances of retaking the House of Representatives next year, concerned insiders tell The Post.
Leading the progressive pack so far is former Rep. Mondaire Jones, a Squad-adjacent pol who was bounced in 2022 from his old seat in Westchester during New York’s cut-throat redistricting and then lost a brutal primary that same year for a Lower Manhattan district now occupied by Rep. Dan Goldman.
Jones, 36, announced his candidacy earlier this month.
He is trying his luck again in the 17th district — now a sprawling Hudson Valley region that includes Rockland, Putnam, and most of northern Westchester counties.
The seat is currently held by freshman GOP Rep. Mike Lawler, who picked it up during the 2022 red wave that hit New York.
Last week Jones announced he had already raised $300,000 in his first quarter as a candidate.
Jones is a longtime defund the police advocate and has argued for packing the Supreme Court to reverse rulings by its conservative jurists.
The far-left Nation magazine has gushed that Jones was “one of the most progressive members” during his single term in the House.
Jones is facing off against fellow Democrat Liz Gereghty, a local school board trustee, and sister of Michigan’s Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
“Republican Mike Lawler had one of the smallest margins in the country in 2022 and should be eminently beatable in a Presidential year. But Mondaire Jones could be seen as approaching this primary as if he has scores to settle, and his unsuccessful comeback attempt in an unrelated district in Brooklyn last year may not do him any favors,” said Jon Reinish, a long-time New York Democratic strategist.
In New Jersey, Sue Altman, boss of the state’s progressive Working Families Party, made a splashy entrance on May 31 into the race against Rep. Thomas Kean Jr. — a moderate Republican currently representing Hunterdon and Warren Counties in Northwest Jersey.
Since her announcement, Altman raised $200,000, according to the New Jersey Globe.
A Garden State gadfly, Altman has made a name for herself publicly heckling Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer, a Jersey moderate.
She supported a bruising and unsuccessful primary challenge against him in 2020.
The far-left causes she champions include a demand for New Jersey to create a “reparations task force.”
“The policies championed and articulated by very leftist candidates appeal to practically no one. They’re not the things people talk about at the kitchen table and not the thing everyday Americans put on their priority list. Republicans know it. Most Democrats know it. And leftist candidates refuse to accept it,” said a frustrated Hill Democrat. “A lot of them liked the fight more than the victory, but that doesn’t win you elections.”
In the 2022 midterm elections, Democrats cruised to easy victories in the Big Apple, and Republicans dominated Long Island and upstate, winning 11 of New York’s 26 seats.
Many of the campaigns were powered on messages promising to support law and order and rein in inflation-causing federal spending.
Democratic challengers were often sinking under the baggage of far-left pols, who championed programs such as defunding the police and bail reform.
On Thursday, Democrats got a boost when the Appellate Division of the State Supreme Court in Albany ruled that districts drawn up by a nonpartisan Special Master in 2022 had to be thrown out to give the legislature and state’s bipartisan redistricting commission another stab at forming lines.
The ruling could put state liberals hungry to gerrymander in the driver’s seat.
Republicans — who hold a slim majority after severely underperforming in the 2022 midterms — cheered on the progressive challengers.
“Mondaire Jones and Sue Altman are perfect examples of where the modern Democrat party is: anti-police, anti-public safety, and anti-institutional norms. Their announcements set off a sprint to the left ensuring whoever comes out of these primaries is unpalatable to everyday voters,” said Savannah Viar, a spokeswoman for the National Republication Congressional Committee.
Source : New York Post