Dan Goldman, heir to Levi Strauss, wins Crowded NY House primary

(Bloomberg) – Dan Goldman, a Levi Strauss & Co. heir who was the top Democratic adviser during President Donald Trump’s first impeachment, won the U.S. House primary in New York’s 10th congressional district. York, a race that was reshaped by a court ruling earlier this year and marked by fierce competition.

Goldman, who has bet his campaign on his record as a defender of democracy, won with 25.8% of the vote at 12:39 a.m., according to the Associated Press. State Congresswoman Yuh-Line Niou finished second with 23.7% of the vote, followed by incumbent US Representative Mondaire Jones.

Goldman had declared victory prematurely on Tuesday night, even though the race had not been announced and competitors had vowed not to concede until all votes were tallied. Shortly after 11 p.m., with a lead of only about 1,300 votes, he issued a press release calling himself the “Democratic Candidate for Congress.”

“It’s absolutely clear from the way the results came in that we won,” he said in a speech on his election night. When asked if he had spoken to any other candidates, his spokesperson Simone Kanter replied “no, they have to call him and give in to him.”

Niou, however, in separate remarks on Tuesday evening, said she “wouldn’t back down until we counted every vote.”

At the center of Goldman’s campaign was his opposition to Trump, a talking point he touted as he faced off against a dozen challengers to represent a neighborhood that stretches across lower Manhattan and up to Brooklyn.

“Being the only one on the ground to have been in the trenches to confront Donald Trump and the Republican Party, I think people recognize that I have a unique skill set and experience to lead the battle to preserve and protect our democracy. “said Goldman. in an interview on Monday.

In addition to his role in impeaching Trump in 2019, Goldman, a 46-year-old attorney and father of five, worked for a decade as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York. He said health care, increasing investment in the green economy, strengthening gun control legislation and expanding access to abortion would be among his priorities. If he wins in November, he will represent one of the most diverse and progressive neighborhoods in the city.

But the abortion issue led to attacks from rivals on the campaign trail after he said in an interview that he “would not oppose” a state law banning abortion. pregnancy past the point of fetal viability, but that his personal opinions were “secondary to a woman’s right to make her own decision to become pregnant. He later backtracked on his comments. In the interview with Bloomberg , he said he was “a 100% pro choice” and that his answer was “misinterpreted”.

Rivals have also attacked Goldman for using his personal wealth to fuel his campaign, accusing him of trying to buy the election.

He said he decided to dip into his fortune so he could speak to voters rather than donors. “I had a decision to make as a first-time candidate in a very short race, which was that I could continue to spend my days talking to potential donors or I could invest my own money and go out into the field. and talk to voters,” he said during Monday’s interview.

With a net worth of between $64 million and $253 million, Goldman will become one of the wealthiest members of Congress if elected in November.

crowded field

Besides mailboxes full of flyers and airwaves full of advertisements, Goldman gained traction in mid-August after winning the coveted endorsement of The New York Times. But the race remained competitive among a packed field that included many who served in public service and were well known to various parts of the newly drawn district.

That field included progressive Niou, 39, city council member Carlina Rivera and Jones, 35, who joined Congress in 2021 to represent Westchester and Rockland counties.

Jones, who grew up in Rockland and is among the first openly gay black members of Congress, was left without a political home after a chaotic reshuffle ordered by New York’s Congressional Districts Court.

Faced with the prospect of a matchup against Representative Sean Patrick Maloney, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Jones moved to New York. When he announced his intention to run in the 10th congressional district, he called it “the birthplace of the LGBTQ+ rights movement” and said it was a place that has long welcomed queer people of color. .

With his loss, there will be one less black member of Congress in an increasingly diverse House, where about 13% of members are black, according to Pew Research.

Jones joined rival Niou in speaking out against Goldman and what they described as his opposition to progressive priorities, including Medicare for All, the Green New Deal and legislation to expand the Supreme Court. “Conservative Democrat Dan Goldman cannot be allowed to buy that congressional seat. Certainly not in one of the most progressive congressional districts in the country,” he told a news conference.

Still, Goldman may have benefited from progressive votes split between Jones, Niou and Rivera.

The election was also likely affected by low voter turnout in late August, when many New Yorkers try to escape the sweltering city heat. Across New York City, only about 76,000 people voted in early voting, down 12% from June’s gubernatorial primary and a 60% drop from the year’s mayoral primary. last.

Goldman’s campaign held a party in a tent at the Torch & Crown Brewing Company in Lower Manhattan, but the candidate awaited the results from a “war room” a few blocks away. Fans ate sandwiches, including from a kosher section, and local TV station NY1 broadcast on two large screens.

Matthew Fried, 66, a retired banker who lives on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, said he was a Goldman supporter “otherwise I’d be in bed.” Fried, his wife and their two sons returned on Sunday from a trip upstate to make sure they could vote, he added.

“I think he did a good job,” Fried said of Goldman. “He’s pro-Israel, he’s not BDS, and he wasn’t afraid to jump on Trump when he needed to,” referring to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.

Raymond Wang, 56, who lives on Staten Island and owns a business in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, called Goldman “professional.” He wants to help the working class,” Wang said.

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