The Return Of Mondaire Jones?
Tomorrow is the first day of the Hoffman v. New York State Independent Redistricting Commission litigation, a pivotal court battle in an Albany appeals court over the state’s congressional lines, likely headed for the state's highest court. Dave Wasserman reported that if they win, the Dems in the legislature “could opt for a ‘safer play’ than the map they pursued in 2022, targeting five or six GOP incumbents who are already at varying degrees of risk in 2024. That could mean a 20D-6R or 21D-5R map— not quite as ambitious as the 22D-4R gerrymander that backfired in court, but enough to offset North Carolina and keep Democrats in close contention to make Jeffries speaker. Part of Democrats' calculus is legal: a subtler, less brazen gerrymander could give Court of Appeals judges more rationale to uphold it. For example, no more crazy S-shaped tentacles allowing liberal Park Slope to be folded in with Trump-loving Staten Island.”
One district that will certainly flip— probably even without 2024 redistricting is NY-17, which has a D+7 partisan lean and a D+3 PVI and was flipped by Republican Mike Lawler because everyone hated GOP-lite Wall Street-owned carpetbagger Sean Patrick Maloney.
Mike Lawler- 143,550 (50.32%)
Sean Patrick Maloney- 141,730 (49.68%)
What the voters wanted was their own congressman, Mondaire Jones, who Maloney had chased out of the district. Yesterday, Ally Mutnick reported that Jones is “readying another run for the lower Hudson Valley swing seat… His entrance into the race sets up a primary clash with Liz Gereghty, an education advocate and the sister of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, in a must-win district for House Democrats.”
Gereghty has already pledged fealty to the Wall Street owned and operated New Dems and has been whispering that Jones is too progressive for the district— although the district, which includes 75% of his old district, was won Biden won by 10 points in 2020:
Mondaire Jones (D)- 197,353 (59.3%)
Maureen Schulman (R)- 117,307 (35.2%)
He supports Medicare for All and the Green New Deal, which Gereghty does not.
NY-21 is a very different district— and not likely to get any bluer in a new redistricting. In the last redrawing it went from an R+14 partisan lean to an R+17. The incumbent is MAGAt Elise Stefanik, third ranking among House Republicans. Trump won the district by 11 points in 2020. Stefanik beat conservative Democrat Matt Castelli 165,634 (58.53%) to 113,3255 (40.02%). It’s a very tough district and not one that is a high priority for the DCCC. But state Democrats have recruited progressive veteran Steven Holden to run and he’s likely to declare his candidacy next month. If you’re wondering where he stands of issues, yesterday he told me that he “would not have supported the Debt Ceiling agreement, of which Stefanik was a party. They wanted to do it on the backs of Veterans and Seniors.”
As for NY-22, the blue-leaning swing district that includes Syracuse, Democrats ran a GOP-lite corporate conservative last time and he lost. This time it’s looking like solid progressive state Senator Rachel May— who helped decimate the fake Democratic caucus that gave the GOP control of the Senate by beating scumbag David Valesky— could be running. The district has a D+2 partisan lean… and a Republican freshman, Brandon Williams, who won with just 50.49% and is considered one of the most vulnerable members of Congress in the country.