Former Democratic Rep Mondaire Jones launches comeback bid for crucial seat that helped GOP take House

Former Rep. Mondaire Jones officially launched a comeback campaign, setting up what could be a tough Democratic primary in a suburban New York district that helped Republicans take control of the House in 2022. Jones is the second Democratic candidate to announce a run for New York’s 17th Congressional District after Liz Gereghty, the sister of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, said she is seeking election. The winner will face off against freshman Republican Rep. Mike Lawler, who knocked out longtime Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney after redistricting reshaped the reliably blue district into a swing district. Jones had represented the 17th but stepped aside for Maloney, running unsuccessfully instead in a primary for the reshaped 10th District. “It’s only through a series of nightmarish events that happened with redistricting in New York last year that I am not a current member of Congress for this district,” Jones told Fox News Digital. “But my constituents have been urging me everywhere I go, whether it’s in the grocery store or on the streets to win back this seat and to continue the work I started.”  Jones, who received attention as one of the first openly gay, Black men in Congress when he won a crowded 2020 Democratic primary, said he wants to cut down costs for the working class and “restore and protect basic freedoms,” including access to abortion and healthcare rights for women. “For me, policy is personal,” Jones said. “The same motivations that I had getting into Congress the first time I ran, continue to be what lead me to want to return to Congress now.”  “I also say this as someone who is now a second class citizen given a 303 Creative decision by the Supreme Court a few days ago, which said that businesses can deny services to gay people,” claimed Jones, who had called to expand the court when in office from 2021-22. REP. MONDAIRE JONES DOUBLES DOWN ON HIS CLAIMS THAT OPPONENTS TO DC STATEHOOD ARE ‘RACIST’ He also discussed the need to continue support for law enforcement, highlighting that he has a record of “consistently voting for historic levels of police funding,” and the need to get rid of “weapons of war” off streets which would consist of enacting an “assault weapons ban and universal background checks.”  Jones posted a campaign video on Twitter Wednesday morning to publicly state his comeback, saying he has “never been Washington’s choice” and has fought Republicans “trying to overthrow our democracy & ban abortion.” “Most people in Washington didn’t grow up like me. They have no idea what it’s like to struggle,” said Jones, who was raised by a single mother and worked his way to Harvard Law School. FOX NEWS POWER RANKINGS: PREVIEWING 2024 BATTLEGROUND STATES, KEY CONGRESSIONAL RACES Lawler spokesperson Chris Russell called the congressman a “bipartisan problem solver” who residents in the Hudson River valley trust. Russell added Jones is running away from his past. “No matter how hard Mondaire Jones tries to run away from his previous record in Congress – just like he ran away from his constituents in 2022 – nothing will change the fact that Mondaire Jones is a radical progressive who is endorsed by AOC and ‘the Squad’, supports the defund the police movement and New York’s disastrous cashless bail law, and voted for the reckless spending that saddled us with record high inflation,” Russell said. BIDEN REVERSES COURSE, SAYS REP. LAWLER IS NOT A ‘MAGA REPUBLICAN’ AFTER USING HIS IMAGE TO TARGET THE GOP Lawler’s win was one of several Republican victories in crucial New York districts, despite the state’s status as reliably blue overall. The 17th includes stretches through four suburban counties outside of New York City: Dutchess, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester. DEMOCRAT LIZ GEREGHTY, SISTER OF MI GOV. GRETCHEN WHITMER, ANNOUNCES RUN FOR NY CONGRESSIONAL SEAT Gereghty, who is also a small business owner and Katonah Lewisboro School Board member, announced back in May that she is running for the New York House seat. Gereghty’s campaign focuses on issues such as public education, reproductive rights, and gun laws. Fox News Digital reached out to Gereghty and her campaign staff for comment, but did not receive a response in time.
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