Jones drops WFP general election ballot line, clearing way for Niou to challenge Goldman

Collage Maker-24-Aug-2022-04.08-PM
Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou and Dan Goldman.
Photos courtesy of Niou Campaign and (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

The chances of Yuh-Line Niou challenging unofficial 10th Congressional District Democratic nominee Dan Goldman in November grew far stronger Monday as U.S. Rep. Mondaire Jones declined the Working Families Party (WFP) line for the general election, clearing the way for the Manhattan assembly member to run on the progressive party line.

Niou placed second in last Tuesday’s Democratic primary behind Goldman, separated by just 1,300 – Niou got nearly 24 percent to Goldman’s 25 – according to unofficial results from the city Board of Elections (BOE). While there are still several thousand absentee ballots to be counted, The Associated Press called the election in Goldman’s favor early last Wednesday morning, with the assumption the outstanding mail-in ballots will mostly go his way in the lower Manhattan and northwest Brooklyn district.

Goldman is a former federal prosecutor who gained national prominence as lead counsel in former President Donald Trump’s first impeachment and as an MSNBC analyst. He’s also a wealthy heir to the Levi Strauss and Co. fortune, coming under criticism for pouring millions of dollars of his own money into the race.

New York WFP Director Sochie Nnaemeka put out a statement acknowledging Jones – who had the WFP line in the general election after petition signatures from his upstate District 17 were transferred to CD10 – had filed paperwork Monday to officially decline the line.

“This afternoon the Working Families Party and Mondaire Jones filed paperwork to remove Mondaire from the party’s ballot line in NY-10,” Nnaemeka said. “Mondaire has been a powerful voice for working people in Congress. He will always be part of the WFP family and we look forward to seeing what he does next.”

Chatter about Niou possibly challenging Goldman on the progressive WFP line started to bubble up just hours after the election was called for Goldman, saying the majority of voters supported self described progressive candidates – including Niou, Jones and Manhattan City Council Member Carlina Rivera – in the primary. The implication being that if Niou – or another progressive candidate – were to challenge Goldman in a two-person race, they’d win.

Following PoliticsNY’s reporting on the idea of Niou running on the WFP last week, The Washington Post reported the assembly member is strongly considering a third-party challenge to Goldman.

“I’m currently speaking with WFP and my community about how we can best represent the needs of this district,” Niou said told The Washington Post. “Because what we can do together is too important to give up this fight, we must count every vote. I’m so grateful for the outpouring of support and all of the people who showed up and turned out. Our people need and deserve a voice.”

New York WFP spokesperson Ravi Mangla told PoliticsNY that while Jones was removed from the line, no decision had been made about who they’re choosing for the general – a decision the party must make by Sept. 6.

“We haven’t made any decisions yet on the line for the general, just taken the procedural step of removing Mondaire from the line,” Mangla said.

Goldman’s campaign didn’t respond to a request for comment by post time.

Additionally, the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club – a prominent LGBTQ plus political club, which backed Rivera in the primary – put out a release encouraging Niou to take up the third party line to provide a “progressive alternative” to Goldman. Club president Allen Roskoff said “give progressive voters a choice,” in the release.

“In the as yet not final results, Dan Goldman, a moderate multi-millionaire, has 25.8% of the vote in a mid-summer contest in which only 3% of eligible voters cast ballots,” the release read. “The candidates to his left—Yuh-Line (23.7%), Mondaire Jones (18.2%), Carlina Rivera (17%), Jo Anne Simon (6.2%), and Elizabeth Holtzman (4.4%)—won a total of 69.5% of the vote. This clear progressive majority needs a progressive alternative in November. We hope Yuh-Line will provide that on the WFP line and that all of her progressive rivals will unite behind her.”

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