House Speaker Pelosi throws her considerable weight behind Jones in NY10 contest

Jones-headshot3
U.S. Rep. Mondaire Jones.
Photo courtesy of Mondaire for Congress

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has spoken, and she’s choosing Mondaire Jones.

Jones’ campaign announced Monday that the speaker has thrown her considerable weight behind his bid to represent the newly redrawn 10th Congressional District that covers lower Manhattan and parts of northwest Brooklyn in the Aug. 23 primary.

In a release, Pelosi cited Jones’ role in passing several pieces of “​​life-changing” legislation as the reason why she’s chosen to back the one-term congressmember’s campaign in the 13-candidate field.

“Mondaire Jones has gotten real results for New Yorkers,” Pelosi said. “Once elected as the freshman representative to House leadership, Congressman Mondaire Jones played a vital role in passing life-changing legislation that has lifted up working families, helped deliver expanded access to health care, and invested in affordable housing.”

In his own statement, Jones touted his close working relationship with Pelosi since he entered the House in January 2021.

“Whether it was passing monumental voting rights protections or securing billions of dollars in new investments in New York City’s housing, health care, and schools, I’ve worked closely with Speaker Pelosi to deliver real results for New York’s working families and I’m proud to have her support,” Jones said. “New Yorkers deserve a representative who will never stop fighting to pass bold, transformative legislation, and Speaker Pelosi knows that no one in this race can deliver like I can.”

Spokespeople for other top-tier candidates in the race, including City Council Member Carlina Rivera (D-Manhattan), Dan Goldman – counsel in the first impeachment of former President Donald Trump – and Assembly Member Yuh-Niou (D-Manhattan), declined to comment on Pelosi’s endorsement when PoliticsNY reached out.

When the race first began in late May, PoliticsNY spoke to a political operative with knowledge of the district who said there was a good chance Pelosi would ultimately back Jones in the crowded field. At the time, the race also included ex-Mayor Bill de Blasio – who dropped out last month.

Jones voted for Pelosi when she ran for reelection as speaker at the beginning of 2021. But according to a published report from the news site HuffPost, the freshman congressmember said before the vote that he was supporting Pelosi because “literally no other Democrat has announced their candidacy for speaker.”

“The question then is: Am I going to do something that would empower the Republican leader Kevin McCarthy?” Jones said at the time. “The answer is obviously no.”

Pelosi is perhaps the most well-known national figure to endorse a candidate in the 10th District so far. Jones has also garnered support from other prominent national electeds like U.S. Senators Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) and Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts) as well as U.S. Reps. Pramila Jayapal – who chairs the Congressional Progressive Caucus – and Jamie Raskin, lead manager in Trump’s second impeachment.

Jones, however, has been far less successful in getting the backing of local elected officials, organizations and labor unions. That support has mostly gone to Rivera, who’s been endorsed by U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn), 1199SEIU – the powerful healthcare workers union and many of her City Council colleagues.

While Jones hasn’t come in first place in any of the polls that have been released so far, he has significantly out raised  his competitors, with a $2.8 million war chest as of his most recent filing with the Federal Election Commission last month. Following Jones in fundraising is Goldman, who has a little over $1 million on hand.

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