Politico

Dan Goldman wins free-for-all New York House seat


NEW YORK — Former federal prosecutor Dan Goldman beat a crowded field of Democrats vying for a new congressional seat in Lower Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn.

Goldman was counsel to House Democrats during the first impeachment of former President Donald Trump, and leaned on that experience heavily in campaign ads and forums by casting himself as a candidate with unique investigative chops that could be trained on the GOP.

He unseated Rep. Mondaire Jones, who sought reelection far from his current suburban district north of the city as a result of the state’s chaotic redistricting process. Goldman also bested New York Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou and City Council Member Carlina Rivera.

An heir to the Levi Strauss & Co. fortune, Goldman also poured $4 million from his own personal wealth into the race and received an enviable cash infusion from family and company associates. Those deep pockets allowed him to blanket the airwaves with broadcast ads. And a late endorsement from The New York Times clinched his status as the frontrunner heading into Tuesday.

Earlier story:

NEW YORK — Former federal prosecutor Dan Goldman and state Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou were locked in a close Democratic primary Tuesday night for a vacant congressional seat in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

No news outlets had called the 10th Congressional District race at 10:30 p.m., when Goldman declared victory while he was up by more than 1,000 votes. Niou did not concede, telling supporters she wanted a complete vote count.

The city’s Board of Elections sent out 21,502 absentee ballots to voters in the district, and as of Friday had counted nearly 8,000 of them — leaving thousands of absentee ballots yet to be counted in the razor-thin race.

“While we will appreciate and respect the Democratic process and make sure that all the votes are counted, it is quite clear from the way that the results have come in that we have won,” Goldman said in a speech to supporters. “It is because of you and everyone in this room who worked so hard together to get us here, working toward a shared pragmatic and progressive vision for this city and this country.”

A win by Niou would be a victory for the progressive left in the city, while a Goldman win would deal the movement a blow.

“Tonight’s results aren’t yet what we hoped to hear. But we will not concede until we count every vote,” Niou said. “Because what we can do together is too important to give up this fight. Our vision is that we sent a powerful mission and powerful message this election. We sent the message that things can get better, that things can change, that people can take back control of their government.”

Jones, who opted to move to the city to avoid a potential primary with Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) in New York’s suburbs, was unseated. Jones, who currently represents Rockland and Westchester counties, conceded Tuesday night — as did City Council Member Carlina Rivera.

A crowded field of candidates competed for the Brooklyn-and-Manhattan seat, created by a court-ordered redistricting plan.

Goldman served as counsel to House Democrats during the first impeachment of former President Donald Trump. He emerged as the frontrunner in polls, and opponents quickly sought to paint him as too moderate for the district. But the city’s institutional left split their support among several of those candidates.

An heir to the Levi Strauss & Co. fortune, Goldman poured $4 million from his own personal wealth into the race and received a cash infusion from family and company associates early on. Those deep pockets allowed him to blanket the airwaves with ads.

He won the endorsement of the New York Times, an influential nod in a district with many affluent liberals.

In the closing days of the race, rivals set their sights on toppling Goldman from the front runner’s perch, accusing him of trying to buy the race — though they declined to consolidate behind a single alternative.

Jones and Niou held a joint press conference denouncing Goldman’s wealth and his personal investments. And last week, Rivera and former Rep. Liz Holtzman, also a candidate in the NY-10, held a similar tag-team event to ding Goldman over abortion, targeting comments he later walked back saying he was open to some restrictions on the procedure.

“Once he got the Times endorsement, it became clear he was the frontrunner,” said political consultant Jon Paul Lupo, who is not working for anyone in the race. “And if you’re one of the other candidates, you have to figure out a way to chase him down.”

Niou leaned on door-knocking and phone banking — key elements for a sleepy August primary. The furthest left in a field where multiple candidates competed for the progressive lane, she won the endorsement of the Working Families Party. Should she ultimately lose the Democratic primary to Goldman, Niou could run on the WFP’s ballot line in the general election.

Niou, who is Taiwanese American, also seized on the opportunity to increase Asian representation in a district that is 20 percent Asian, uniting Chinatowns in Manhattan and Brooklyn’s Sunset Park.

The 10th district was created after a judge threw out a gerrymandered redistricting map designed by state Democratic lawmakers and ordered up a new one. The result threw New York’s political world into chaos.

Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) represents the current 10th district. But his home and base on the Upper West Side were moved to the 12th district and he opted to run there against fellow incumbent Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), a contest he won Tuesday night.

Madina Touré contributed to this report.

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