In New York’s 17th Congressional District, Progressive Mondaire Jones is the leader among seven candidates after Tuesday’s Democratic primary election, according to unofficial results. Democratic Congresswoman Nita Lowey is not seeking re-election. And while several thousand absentee ballots have yet to be counted, Jones expects to be the Democratic nominee. He spoke with WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne.
According to the New York State Board of Elections, Mondaire Jones leads with nearly 43 percent of the in-person vote. Runner-up Adam Schleifer has nearly 20 percent of the vote. If elected, Jones would be the first openly gay Black man in Congress. With the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis propelling nationwide protests, Jones discussed whether race played a role in the primary.
Jones, who grew up in Rockland County and attended the East Ramapo Central School District, served in the Obama Administration in the Office of Legal Policy at the Department of Justice before going to Harvard Law School. Most recently, Jones was an attorney in Westchester County’s Law Department. The 17th District contains all of Rockland County and part of Westchester. In the district’s Republican primary, Maureen McArdle Schulman garnered 66 percent of the in-person votes over Yehudis Gottesfeld’s nearly 18 percent.