Primary School 7/8
AIPAC really hates Donna Edwards for some reason
Outside $ Watch
$34K of TV ads for Jared Moskowitz from Moving Broward Forward PAC. Moving Broward Forward is another one of those PACs that was clearly created and funded with timing to work out so no one figures out who funds it until after the election. Total MBFPAC spending: $34K
A total of $1.57M of ads, in buys of $582K and $984K, probably a mix of TV and digital, as well as $114K of mailers supporting Glenn Ivey and opposing Donna Edwards from United Democracy Project (AIPAC). Total AIPAC spending: $4.1M
$336K of TV ads for Glenn Ivey from DMFI PAC. Total DMFI spending: $336K
$254K of mailers and radio ads for Donna Edwards from LCV Victory Fund. Total LCV spending: $393K
$154K of TV ads and $64K of mailers supporting Donna Edwards and opposing Glenn Ivey from J Street Action Fund. The ad contrasts Glenn Ivey’s lobbying, contributions to a PAC that contributed to Republicans, and support from United Democracy Project, with Donna Edwards, “a Democrat we can trust”, and highlights her endorsements from Nancy Pelosi and Elizabeth Warren. Total J Street spending: $318K
$17K of digital ads for Glenn Ivey from the National Association of Realtors Political Action Committee. The ads may be simple endorsement images, but they did also make a website for the effort, so it’s possible they’re planning something more. Total NARPAC spending: $17K
$2,800 in text-banking for Donna Edwards from the Working Families Party. Total WFP spending: $2,800
$965K of TV ads for Haley Stevens from Women Vote! (EMILY’s List). Total WV! Spending: $965K
$1.5M of TV and digital ads for Haley Stevens from United Democracy Project (AIPAC). The TV ad focuses on Stevens’s work on the auto bailout and includes footage of Barack Obama mentioning her by name, while the digital one is a simple video of Stevens talking about being pro-choice. Total AIPAC spending: $1.6K
$181K of media ads supporting Andy Levin from Future Progress. Future Progress is a Super PAC created last cycle that ran ads against Republicans in a few House and Senate races, but has never played in a primary before. Total Future Progress spending: $181K
$1.8M of TV and digital ads for Adam Hollier from United Democracy Project (AIPAC). The ad is a simple positive biographical spot, noting his time as a firefighter, soldier, and state senator, then lists standard Democratic positions he supports. Total AIPAC spending: $1.8K
Nobody voted this Tuesday on account of the holiday weekend, but last Tuesday was a busy one—and we have another, earlier primary to update you on first.
CA Insurance Commissioner: California voted a month ago, so why are we updating you again? Because Assemb. Marc Levine, who had pulled into second place with late ballots, fell back into third as Republican-leaning counties caught up to the rest of the state. We said when Levine pulled ahead of Republican Robert Howell that he was likely to stay there; we were wrong. Because Levine is out of the top two, embattled incumbent Ricardo Lara is going to be the only Democrat on the ballot in November, probably guaranteeing his reelection.
CO-01: Rep. Diana DeGette easily beat underfunded progressive underdog Neal Walia with more than 80% of the vote.
CO downballot: In ideological primaries, moderates and big business managed to almost completely strike out; the only plausible victory for the center to claim was Wanda James’s narrow victory over Johnnie Nguyen for a Denver-based seat on the University of Colorado system’s Board of Regents. In the state’s most expensive legislative primary, DSA-endorsed abolitionist activist and bail fund director Elisabeth Epps emerged victorious over moderate opponent Katie March for central Denver’s HD-06 after March’s side (including the Chamber of Commerce, making a rare foray into Democratic primaries) spent heavily to attack Epps. Epps’s 53-47 victory was the closest of the moderate-vs.-progressive races: in HD-34 in Denver’s northwestern suburbs, progressive Northglenn Mayor Jenny Willford trounced business-backed moderate Thornton City Councilman Sam Nizam 59-41, and in HD-57 in western Colorado’s ski towns, Bernie-supporting and labor-backed progressive Elizabeth Velasco thumped self-funding businessman Cole Buerger 64-36. In less ideological primaries, Mischa Smith—the rare candidate backed by both the Working Families Party and the Chamber of Commerce (seriously, wtf was going on there?)—lost 54-46 to Regina English in Colorado Springs’s open HD-17, and appointed incumbent Mandy Lindsay defeated challenger Gail Pough 58.5-41.5 in Aurora’s HD-42.
IL-01: The Rev. Jesse Jackson’s son Jonathan Jackson emerged victorious from a crowded and varied field of candidates; Jackson’s issue positions are generally progressive and he was endorsed by Bernie Sanders, but he was also backed by over a million dollars from cryptocurrency billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried’s network of PACs thanks to his very vocal enthusiasm for cryptocurrency.
IL-03: Despite this being widely seen as a highly competitive race (though one without any polling since March), progressive state Rep. Delia Ramirez romped over centrist Chicago Ald. Gil Villegas by more than 40 points, an incredibly impressive result for Ramirez given Villegas’s fundraising advantage and vigorous support from the local Democratic establishment.
IL-06: Moderate Rep. Sean Casten beat progressive Rep. Marie Newman, who had been outspent substantially and weighed down by an ethics scandal, by about 40 points.
IL-07: Justice Democrats-backed gun violence activist Kina Collins fell short against Rep. Danny Davis 52-45, an impressive result considering Collins’s low (relative to other Justice Democrats candidates) fundraising and lack of outside help from groups besides Justice Dems.
IL-08: Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi and his ungodly campaign war chest defeated progressive tech firm owner Junaid Ahmed 70-30.
IL-13: Labor and Democratic political staffer Nikki Budzinski crushes military vet David Palmer 3 to 1 in a race that was never really competitive.
IL-17: Moderate TV meteorologist Eric Sorensen defeats progressive former state Rep. Litesa Wallace 37-23, with other candidates far behind.
IL SoS: Alexi Giannoulias, best known for fumbling Barack Obama’s Senate seat to Republican Mark Kirk in 2010, easily defeated Chicago City Clerk Anna Valencia, whose main selling point (never having sucked so hard as a candidate that she lost a US Senate race to a Republican in Illinois) was enough for JB Pritzker, Tammy Duckworth, and Dick Durbin, but apparently not enough for voters. (Giannoulias’s 3-to-1 financial advantage definitely didn’t help matters.) Some noteworthy progressives—Chuy García chief among them—backed Giannoulias for reasons we don’t quite understand.
IL state Senate: If you thought Colorado was bad for centrist Democrats, Illinois was even worse for them. Challenges to incumbents from the right flopped by hilarious margins—state Sen. Omar Aquino crushed his opponent, Wilson Vazquez, who had the backing of Villegas and his Ward 36 Democratic machine, and state Sen. Robert Martwick coasted to victory over an opponent backed by police unions furious over his votes for a policing reform bill. Moderate former state Rep. Mary Edly-Allen defeated even-more-moderate state Rep. Sam Yingling for an open state Senate seat in Chicago’s northern suburbs. And Will County Board member Rachel Ventura, who longtime readers may remember for her unexpectedly strong shoestring campaign against Bill Foster in 2020, defeated appointed incumbent state Sen. Eric Mattson 57-43 after state Democrats spent more than $250,000 to stop her. Ventura was backed by local DSA chapters as well as DSA’s national electoral arm, and her victory gives both DSA and the broader left (progressive groups were very much on Ventura’s side, too) a vital foothold in Chicago’s suburbs. It wasn’t all good: in SD-16, conservative business owner Willie Preston was able to snag the South Side seat held by Jacqui Collins, defeating attorney and Cook County Commission staffer La’Mont Raymond Williams.
IL state House: Three state representatives—Denyse Wang Stoneback in HD-16, Michael Zalewski in HD-21, and Kathleen Willis in HD-77—were sent packing by candidates running to their left: Kevin Olickal, Abdelnasser Rashid, and Norma Hernandez. Willis and Wang Stoneback were fairly normal Democrats, but Zalewski had some anti-choice votes in his record. (HD-77 was less of an overtly ideological contest, but Hernandez is closely aligned with Chuy García, who has a burgeoning political machine at his command that he used this cycle to benefit dozens of progressive candidates, also including Olickal, Aquino, and Delia Ramirez. And even Rashid, while not endorsed by García in this campaign, had close connections to him: he was the field director for García’s 2015 mayoral campaign against Rahm Emanuel.) And Rachel Ventura wasn’t the only former progressive congressional primary challenger who had a good night: Hoan Huynh, who briefly challenged Mike Quigley this cycle before dropping down to the open HD-13, won 45-36 over an opponent with near-unanimous support from the state Democratic establishment. Some incumbents held on in the face of real challengers—appointed state Rep. Michael Kelly narrowly survived a spirited challenge from progressive Michael Rabbitt 53-47 in HD-15, South Side state Rep. Curtis Tarver II coasted to a 77-23 victory over long-shot progressive challenger Josef Carr in HD-25, and ethically challenged South Side-and-southern-suburban state Rep. Thaddeus Jones handily defeated Calumet City Ald. Monet Wilson 78-22 in a race without a clear ideological angle. Other open races were a mixed bag. On the good side of the ledger, former Chuy García staffer Lillian Jimenez easily won Delia Ramirez’s open HD-04, and normal Democrat Laura Faver Dias beat a pair of centrist opponents in suburban HD-62. On the bad side of the ledger, corrections officer Gregg Johnson leads Black Lives Matter activist Thurgood Brooks by 28 votes in Rock Island’s HD-72 (a small but potentially determinative number of late-arriving mail ballots have yet to be counted, and a recount is very likely), and McLean County Commissioner Sharon Chung beat more progressive opponent Karla Bailey-Smith in Peoria and Bloomington’s HD-91 (though that was to be expected with Chung’s overwhelming establishment support and financial advantage.) Labor favorite Matt Hanson also won over young library trustee and former Buttigieg organizer Arad Boxenbaum in HD-83, in a race without a clear ideological dimension (neither Boxenbaum nor Hanson seemed like they’d stand out ideologically in Springfield, but they both seemed fine for a district that technically does have a Republican incumbent running—albeit one that voted for Joe Biden by 19 percentage points, hence our covering the race anyway.)
Cook County local office: Cook County is home to Chicago and many of its suburbs; over five million people reside in the county Right-wing challenges to Cook County’s county board president, sheriff, and assessor all failed, the first two by crushing margins. But those were all status quo results, and that’s not what made it a good night for the left in local office. The banner result of the night in Cook County politics was Anthony Joel Quezada’s defeat of a crowded field that included incumbent County Commissioner Luis Arroyo Jr. and former County Commissioner Edwin Reyes. Quezada was backed by Chicago DSA, Chuy García, and Chicago progressives writ large, and his election gives the left a seat on the powerful county board of commissioners. The rest of the county commission results were status quo results: District 2 Commissioner Dennis Deer fended off a challenge from his right, machine choice Monica Gordon won the open District 5, and conservative appointed incumbent Frank Aguilar (a former Republican state representative) narrowly defeated progressive challenger Letty Garcia. But even that is hard to feel too bad about in light of Quezada’s upset victory and the failure of every single attempt to move Cook County government rightward.
NY-Gov: Kathy Hochul steamrolled her competition with two-thirds of the vote; conservative Democratic Rep. Tom Suozzi, embarrassingly, came in third behind progressive NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, even though the former ran a serious and well-funded campaign while the latter barely bothered to run a campaign at all.
NY-LG: Antonio Delgado clearly wasn’t in as much danger as it seemed, since he cleared 60% of the vote while progressive Ana María Archila took 25% (and moderate-to-conservative candidate Diana Reyna took 15%.)
NY-Assembly: In the New York Assembly, incumbents had a great night. Overall, that’s disappointing given how many serious progressive primary challenges there were across the state, but there were still some successful challenges. In the Bronx’s AD-78, Assemb. José Rivera’s 40-year career was brought to an end by George Alvarez, who has run for office, unsuccessfully, many times before in different parts of the Bronx. This time, Alvarez had the support of two of the Bronx’s four US Representatives (Adriano Espaillat and Ritchie Torres) as well as two local city council members (Oswald Feliz and Pierina Sanchez); Espaillat is particularly influential among Dominican voters, who make up a large share of this district’s population, and that may have made the difference for Alvarez this time. Alvarez got 47% of the vote to Rivera’s 28% and Wall Street-funded community board member Emmanuel Martinez’s 24%. In Westchester County’s AD-92, anti-vaccine moderate Assemb. Tom Abinanti’s luck finally ran out; WFP-backed progressive MaryJane Shimsky, a member of the Westchester County Legislature, defeated him 54.5%-45.5%. And while NYC-DSA’s downstate Assembly candidates all fell short, DSA pulled off a stunning upset upstate. Climate organizer and Mid-Hudson Valley DSA co-chair Sarahana Shrestha narrowly unseated longtime Assemb. Kevin Cahill, who was first elected in 1992 and has served continuously since 1998. This district is a rarity: it’s a largely rural, mostly white, but solidly Democratic district. We described it as “hippie country” in our primary preview, and the hippies came through. Cahill was a key ally of Speaker Carl Heastie throughout this year’s contentious legislative session, during which Heastie let the Build Public Renewables Act die without a vote despite proponents claiming the bill, which had already passed the state Senate, had the votes for passage in the Assembly; Shrestha is a lead organizer with Public Power NY, which fought to pass the bill to invest billions in publicly-owned renewable energy. And for all the unsuccessful progressive primary challenges, at least the left had successful primary challenges; every single primary challenge from the right failed, most by wide margins, even though several were fairly serious (for example, Kenneth Chiu’s challenge to progressive Assemb. Ron Kim in AD-40, Olanike Alabi’s challenge to DSA-affiliated Assemb. Phara Souffrant Forrest in AD-57, and Hercules Reid’s challenge to just-elected progressive Assemb. Monique Chandler-Waterman in AD-58, the last of which even had the support of Eric Adams.)
Open races were a wash. Moderate Queens Democrat Brian Barnwell’s open AD-30 went to his chief of staff, Steven Raga, who appears to be a pretty normal Democrat and an upgrade over his boss; Raga’s opponent, district leader Ramón Cando, had run a very conservative campaign based entirely around his desire to return New York to the bad old days of unchecked mass incarceration and imprisonment of low-income New Yorkers via cash bail. Retiring Deputy Speaker Cathy Nolan’s AD-37, in western Queens, went to progressive insurgent Juan Ardila, who got a strong 44% while his nearest competitor got 26%. And retiring progressive Assemb. Dick Gottfried’s chosen successor, Tony Simone, won midtown Manhattan’s AD-75 38-27; Simone’s platform and campaign indicate that he’ll be similar to Gottfried, which is a good thing. But moderate Grace Lee defeated DSA’s Illapa Sairitupac 49-35 in AD-65, which progressive Assemb. Yuh-Line Niou is leaving behind to run for NY-10; it’s hard not to wonder whether Sairitupac could’ve won with the support of Niou (and her loyal army of grassroots volunteers), or without the presence of another Latine candidate in the race (oddball pro-charter school conservative YIMBY Denny Salas.) Retiring progressive Assemb. Dan Quart will be succeeded in the Upper East Side’s AD-73 not by progressive Kellie Leeson, but by mainstream liberal Alex Bores, whose 28% was enough to win in a field of four candidates (with a fifth, dropped-out candidate May Malik, still on the ballot.) And retiring moderate Assemb. Sandy Galef will be succeeded by Ossining Town Supervisor Dana Levenberg, a standard liberal, who defeated DSA-backed former Peekskill City Councilor Vanessa Agudelo but at least seems a little better than Galef. It wasn’t the earthquake New York progressives and leftists were hoping for, but it wasn’t a terrible night either; several close Heastie allies (Cahill, Nolan, Abinanti) will be replaced by progressives eager to join the already-substantial bloc within the Democratic caucus agitating for the Assembly to act more like the state Senate, where Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins is actually willing to put progressive priorities up for a vote.
Erie County Clerk: In the only local race in New York we previewed, Democrat-turned-Republican County Clerk Michael Kearns’s attempt to win the Democratic nomination failed, as he lost 63-36 to another party-switcher: Melissa Hartman, the Town Supervisor (basically the mayor) of suburban Eden, who switched from the GOP to run against Kearns. Why the only Democratic primary challenger to a right-wing, anti-immigrant ex-Democrat was a recent ex-Republican is beyond us, but at least someone was able to deny Kearns the Democratic ballot line. (Kearns, despite being a registered Democrat, has never had the Democratic ballot line in a contested election; when he’s been the Democratic nominee, it’s been because nobody else filed for that nomination. This was his very first attempt at winning a Democratic primary, after a decade in elected office.)
Oklahoma: State Sen. George Young easily turned back the only Democratic primary challenge in the state, defeating organizer and activist Rico Smith 74-26 in Oklahoma City’s SD-48.
Utah: SD-09 state Sen. Derek Kitchen is a progressive firebrand by Utah standards, and he narrowly trails ER doctor Jennifer Plumb, a more moderate Democrat who he narrowly defeated for this seat four years ago—but the usual leftward lean of late ballots means Plumb’s 62-vote lead isn’t totally secure, and the race remains close to call. In SD-13, moderate (but more importantly, accused sexual harasser) state Sen. Gene Davis went down, losing 76-24 to progressive challenger and green energy advocate Nate Blouin. The local Democratic Party and most elected officials had turned on Davis in the wake of the sexual harassment allegations, but even accounting for that, that’s an embarrassing margin for Davis, who has represented Salt Lake City in either the state House or the state Senate continuously since the late 1980s. And in SD-14, frustratingly moderate state Rep. Stephanie Pitcher won 80-20 despite the outgoing incumbent and the local Democratic convention backing abuse victims’ advocate Deondra Brown.
We’ve been flying blind since Rep. Kai Kahele made the risky move to forgo reelection to Congress and try for governor instead. Now that there finally is a poll, it only underlines how risky that move was. Civil Beat and Hawaii News Now find that Lt. Gov. Josh Green leads the race comfortably with 48%, while Kahele and former Hawaii First Lady Vicky Cayetano trail badly with 16% and 15% of the vote. Labor isn’t treating this race as over, however. The United Public Workers union just endorsed Kahele, though the AFL-CIO chose Green.
Yet another big Hawaiian labor union has decided they’re fed up with Rep. Ed Case and ready for progressive challenger Sergio Alcubilla. This time, it’s UNITE HERE Local 5, which represents 12,000 workers in Hawaii’s tourism, health care, and food service industries. Alcubilla already has the state’s teachers’ union, the state AFL-CIO, and unions representing workers in the shipping industry. Case, a Blue Dog wildly out of step with his district in overwhelmingly Democratic Honolulu, has never had a great relationship with labor, but labor supporting a primary challenge is something new.
There’s less than two weeks left in this primary, and the state of play is just as confusing as ever. Since our last issue there have been not one, not two, but three more polls. The first, and only one of the batch not affiliated with any candidate, comes courtesy of Goucher College. They find Peter Franchot leading with 16%, while Wes Moore and Tom Perez trail with 14% each. Everyone else is far behind. Goucher College, listen: it's the last month of the election, push your undecideds. Wes Moore released an internal poll that also showed him finally pulling up on Peter Franchot, with Franchot ahead only 21% to 20%. Tom Perez is just behind them at 16%. Again, everyone else is in the low-to-mid single digits. The final, and most suspect, poll comes courtesy of John B. King, who just put some of his own money behind a last-minute ad blitz. King, who was at 4% in the Goucher poll and 5% in Moore’s, released his own poll, or at least the toplines of one. It has him at 17% of the vote, ahead of Peter Franchot, at 15%, but behind Tom Perez, at 22%, and Wes Moore at 18%.
As early voting begins, the time has come for the big names in Maryland politics to finally announce who they're voting for. Normally there aren't so many fence-sitters for so long, but this year has been an unusually tight multi-side contest, with nobody involved having any real loyalty or affinity for the candidates. For most of them this is because they're either new to Maryland politics (Moore, King) or returning to it after a very long absence (Perez, Doug Gansler), but in the case of longtime state Comptroller Peter Franchot it's just because no one likes him. Endorsing Tom Perez are Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner, Baltimore County Executive John Olszewski Jr., and the Baltimore Sun. Combine those with Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich's endorsement from a few months ago and it’s clear Perez is doing well among white suburbanites. The odd executive out is Anne Arundel County's Howard Pittman, who was an early Moore endorser. Howard County's Calvin Ball looks like he's going to ride this election out in neutrality. Appropriately, Howard County is seen as something of neutral ground in Maryland politics: dense but still not really urban, racially diverse, and suburban to both DC and Baltimore, it's at the tipping point of many elections, both primaries and general elections. Wes Moore, who already had the PG County establishment, now has the unofficial endorsement of his rival for the governorship until a couple weeks ago: ex-PG County Executive Rushern Baker. Nearly everyone associated with Baker has moved en masse to Moore, but the man himself is remaining technically neutral until the state tells him whether endorsing another candidate means he has to give the matching funds he got back. (Maryland's matching funds program is not particularly well designed.) And Kweisi Mfume, who represents the city of Baltimore and Baltimore County's predominantly Black western suburbs in Congress, just cut an ad for Moore.
As for how Peter Franchot is spending the campaign's home stretch? He’s not showing up to debates, but he is in hysterics about needing to suspend the gas tax again.
What has Donna Edwards done to make AIPAC this angry at her? At $4.1 million, they’re spending more to defeat her than they’ve put forward on any other races, including against candidates with obviously more left-leaning stances on everything, including Israel-Palestine. Regardless, they are, and the question is what are people going to do about it? Edwards herself has begun airing an ad calling out Glenn Ivey for “talking dark money outsiders” into airing ads against her. J Street has begun running ads to back her up, and the League of Conservation voters announced a $550,000 effort to help her. LCV has good reason to be worried about her. Someone leaked to Jewish Insider a poll they took in June showing Glenn Ivey ahead of Donna Edwards 33%-28%. Worryingly, this poll was taken before the $4.1 million ad blitz that AIPAC unleashed on her through their United Democracy Project super PAC.
The Detroit Chamber of Commerce has endorsed Haley Stevens in her member-on-member primary with Andy Levin; in general, you should vote against Chamber picks. Stevens also got the endorsement of Hillary Clinton, whose endorsement of Stevens in 2018 helped her win the Democratic nomination for what was then a Republican-leaning swing district. Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders endorsed Levin. (He also endorsed Rashida Tlaib’s reelection bid in MI-12.)
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan endorsed Adam Hollier, who is rapidly becoming something of a frontrunner in this very crowded contest. Hollier is, if nothing else, the fundraising leader, a highly relevant factor considering the presence of wealthy self-funder Shri Thanedar in the race. Also helping Hollier is everyone’s favorite right-wing dark money group AIPAC, working through their super PAC United Democracy Project. The size of their ad buy, as of now, is $1.8 million, which somehow marks this race as lower priority for the group, which has already spent over $4 million to defeat Donna Edwards. Large or “small”, AIPAC making an investment here is puzzling from the outset. They’ve exclusively thus far gotten involved in elections to block a more progressive Democrat from winning the primary, but no particularly progressive options exist in this race.
In fact, the other perceived likely winners of this race are Thanedar and Sharon McPhail, both of whom seem quite similar to Hollier, or even to his right. Thanedar did back Medicare for All in 2018, but that was widely seen as cynical maneuvering from a wealthy Republican-curious businessman trying to break into politics. Besides, he’s backed away from it for this campaign anyway. McPhail is a creature of creaky machine politics, who is quite proud of her career of sitting to the right of Detroit's already moderate establishment norm. Thanedar, oddly, has an issues page on his website, and then, entirely separately, a positions page that is, for the moment, devoted solely to one position: Israel. The page is new, or at least newer than April 17, the last time his website was archived. It suggests he at least seems to think AIPAC (and DMFI if they ever spend here) are getting involved because of Israel issues, but there’s zero evidence anyone in this race disagrees with AIPAC on them. It’s just bizarre, especially given that they’re not spending against Rashida Tlaib next door. (Yet.)
Dan Goldman is an odd man out in a field mostly composed of current and former officeholders. But as a MSNBC commentator who was the House’s counsel during the first impeachment of Donald Trump, he very evidently has access to liberal donors large and small: he’s announced that he’s raised $1.2 million in the first month of his campaign. (No word from any of his opponents on fundraising, except for former Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman—known for her role as one of the members of the House Judiciary Committee during the impeachment of Richard Nixon—reporting a respectable $125,000 in her first month.) But while Goldman may have a big budget, it’s not showing in his campaign ads: his first ad, which has the stand-by-your-ad language that generally means it’s intended for TV, is a cheap-looking green-screened direct-to-camera monologue. And in a development we’re not even going to try to make sense of, Goldman got the endorsement of Assemb. Bobby Carroll, who represents Brooklyn neighborhoods on the southern end of this district and evidently chose not to endorse either of his Assembly colleagues who are running (Yuh-Line Niou and Jo Anne Simon.)
In less bewildering endorsement news, 1199 SEIU endorsed Council Member Carlina Rivera. 1199 is one of New York’s largest and most powerful labor unions; representing healthcare workers, it generally has a more progressive bent than other big unions in NYC. Rivera has consistently positioned herself on the left flank of the NYC Council (though she’s never been its most progressive member.) She’s a natural choice for 1199. Rivera is fighting with Niou, Rockland County Rep. Mondaire Jones, and, amusingly, former Mayor Bill de Blasio for the progressive lane in this primary; 1199’s support will help her in that, and it’ll also help her outside of the progressive lane.
New York City’s other big congressional primary has managed to stay a little quieter than NY-10, despite containing many of Manhattan’s wealthiest neighborhoods and the headquarters of many national news outlets and TV channels. (You’d think a contest between two colorful fixtures of New York City politics with important House committee chairmanships, in the actual backyard of cable news studios and every print or online publication’s New York bureau, would be getting an outsized share of attention, but not yet!) The biggest tiff that’s occurred recently has come over Jewish representation in the House of Representatives. New York City is one of the most Jewish cities in America, and the New York side of the metro had five Jewish U.S. Representatives as recently as last cycle and six as recently as 2011. Now there’s only Jerry Nadler left (Long Island Republican Lee Zeldin is departing the House for the exciting opportunity to lose to Kathy Hochul in November), and he’s running for what is probably the most Jewish congressional district in the country. A New York Times article pointed out that his surrogates have taken to reminding voters that if he loses this race, New York City (and New York state) may not have a Jewish U.S. Representative left. By our count, there’s been continuous Jewish representation of New York in the House since the 1890s. Carolyn Maloney’s response was aggressive, functionally attacking him for using identity politics, calling his approach “divisive” and “a strange way to run”, akin to her asking voters to pick her because she’s a woman. This primary is going to be ugly.
Here’s a brief list of endorsements both candidates have gotten recently.
For Carolyn Maloney:
For Jerry Nadler:
There’s a striking east-west divide here. All the West Side politicians are behind Nadler, and all the East Side politicians are behind Maloney. The only politician who isn’t from either is Brad Lander. Also, it appears as though both are claiming Lower Manhattan Assemb. Deborah Glick.
Suraj Patel is still running. Did you forget about him? It’s alright if you did, it seems like most people have, which is probably why he released a poll to show he’s viable. According to the New York Post, the poll shows Maloney leading with 30%, Nadler close behind at 28%, and Patel actually in the game at 19%. He also claims he’s raised $1.1 million for this campaign, which would mean about $500,000 in the second quarter. Neither Maloney or Nadler have given Q2 fundraising numbers.
Though the state party endorsement for Congress may have been a snoozer, the gubernatorial endorsement was anything but. Helena Foulkes opted against competing, evidently realizing she didn't have the votes and her real path forward was TV ads, not party insiders. To her credit, those ads have gotten better—she released an ad that was, if not the first ad about the Dobbs decision in the country, certainly one of the first. Of course, the message rings a little hollow if you remember that she's a high-dollar donor to Mitch McConnell. Matt Brown similarly realized he couldn't win the endorsement, but instead of skipping the festivities, used his platform to call out the state party for endorsing anti-choice members of the legislature, That left Gov. Dan McKee and SoS Nellie Gorbea. McKee wound up prevailing by a single vote.
Barely managing to claw his way to the party endorsement as the incumbent is only the latest sign McKee sits on rocky ground for reelection. While he's previously held an ever-dwindling series of leads in the polls, he's finally behind in one. A Suffolk poll of the field, paid for by the Boston Globe, finds him in second with 20% of the vote, while first goes to Nellie Gorbea at 24%. Helena Foulkes isn't far behind at 18%, while Matt Brown, at 5%...is. A shame, too, because Brown is the only McKee challenger who isn’t funding his campaign with money from oil lobbyists or a tobacco executive who infamously testified before Congress that there is no link between smoking and cancer (a risible lie even in 1994.)
The Rhode Island Democratic Party held its convention to choose which candidates get the party endorsement, and the results were predictable. Seth Magaziner got the honors for Congress by a wide margin: Out of 81 delegates, 67 picked him, while 5 went for David Segal and 4 for Sarah Morgenthau. David Segal can’t feel too bad about his showing—that he even got 5 votes demonstrates progressives have made inroads in the state party organization in recent years. It’s Morgenthau’s meager support that should be more worrying for the candidate. Morgenthau has worked hard to establish herself as the preeminent opponent to Magaziner, but thus far it doesn’t seem to be sticking. Recently, she unveiled an endorsement from US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, but Seth Magaziner won that round too—outgoing Congressman Jim Langevin endorsed Magaziner to succeed him later that week.
Many of Jim Langevin’s staffers were unhappy about this endorsement, specifically about the fact that in doing so he passed over ex-staffer Joy Fox. The staffers, most of whom joined the congressman earlier in his career, when he was considerably more conservative and identified as pro-life, wrote an open letter expressing their disappointment and publicly affirming their support for Fox’s campaign.
Firefighter Cameron Moquin has dropped out of the race, and endorsed David Segal on the way out. He was polling quite poorly, had raised little money, and was honest about his assessment that he didn’t have the ability to compete.
State Sen. Becca Balint has landed the biggest Vermont politician as a supporter in her bid for Congress: Sen. Bernie Sanders. While Bernie can move some number of votes anywhere, he’s insanely popular in Vermont. Balint is the progressive with the best chance of winning, so this endorsement makes sense regardless, but this endorsement also has some personal and factional politics behind it. Balint’s main opponent is Lt. Gov. Molly Gray, a protegé of former Gov. Madeleine Kunin, a major Sanders antagonist ever since Sanders ran against her in 1986.