Liz Gereghty, a Democratic candidate for the party’s nomination in the 17th Congressional District, announced Wednesday she was suspending her campaign and endorsing Mondaire Jones for the seat.
Gereghty, a former four-year Katonah-Lewisboro Board of Education member and the sister of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, made her plans known in a statement Wednesday morning.
She said that when she jumped into the race in May, her intention was to ensure that the district had an alternative to an “anti-choice, shape-shifting extremist out of step with our values,” in a reference to Congressman Mike Lawler.
“Through the last few months I found my voice to speak on the issues beyond the School Board that have life altering impacts on people in this community, across the nation and around the world,” Gereghty’s statement mentioned in part. “I look forward to finding ways to use this energy in the future for the betterment of the Hudson Valley, of the state and the nation.”
In announcing her endorsement of Jones, Gereghty continued to say that she was “committed to doing everything possible to elect Democrats across the board in 2024, especially here in NY-17.”
Jones said that Gereghty called him Tuesday night to inform him that she was bowing out on Wednesday and that she would be supporting him in next year’s campaign.
“I am grateful for Liz’s contributions on the Katonah-Lewisboro school board and applaud her for stepping up to be a candidate in this important race,” Jones said. “Over the next year, I look forward to working together to once again give the Lower Hudson Valley the representation it deserves in Congress.”
Jones served one term in the 17th Congressional District, but after the 2022 redistricting, he declined to challenge former Democratic congressman Sean Patrick Maloney and stepped aside. He instead ran for the Democratic nomination for the 10th Congressional District in New York City but lost that primary.
The decision apparently clears the path for Jones to gain the party’s nomination in the 17th District and take on Lawler next year.
On Wednesday, Republicans slammed the Democrats for backing Jones, who they characterized in one statement as a “radical socialist” for supporting Medicare for All and the Green New Deal.
“New York Democrats are demonstrating just how out of touch they are with everyday voters by backing a radical socialist, who wants to open our borders and defund the police,” said Courtney Parella, communications director of the Congressional Leadership Fund Communications, a super PAC that works to elect Republicans to Congress. “Voters in New York are looking for a common-sense leader like Mike Lawler to represent their interests in Washington, not a progressive socialist like Mondaire Jones, who will absolutely put his extreme agenda over what New Yorkers want.”
National Republican Committee Deputy Communications Savannah Viar also said that Jones wants to defund the police and against a motion-to-recommit to provide $73 million toward Israel’s Iron Dome Defense Program.
“Now that Democrats are forced to accept Mondaire Jones as their nominee, they will also be forced to defend his pathetic record of wanting to defund the police, abandoning Israel and leaving his former constituents in a lurch,” Viar said. We don’t envy them.”
But Gereghty said that Lawler is more interested in regulating women’s bodies than cracking down on the guns that are involved in mass shootings along with other “extremist” views from House Republicans.
“They are working to defund public schools and don’t want you to notice that Congress’ inaction on common sense gun safety legislation impacts your property taxes when schools have to increase spending on security to keep our students safe,” she said.
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