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  5. Progressives drop support for Mondaire Jones in key House race after he turned against embattled Rep. Jamaal Bowman

Progressives drop support for Mondaire Jones in key House race after he turned against embattled Rep. Jamaal Bowman

Bryan Metzger   

Progressives drop support for Mondaire Jones in key House race after he turned against embattled Rep. Jamaal Bowman
  • The Congressional Progressive Caucus is dropping its support for former Rep. Mondaire Jones.
  • It comes after Jones, a former caucus member, endorsed Rep. Jamaal Bowman's primary challenger.

The Congressional Progressive Caucus's (CPC) political arm has rescinded its endorsement of former Rep. Mondaire Jones.

Jones, a former member of the progressive caucus who's set to take on Republican Rep. Mike Lawler in one of the most closely watched House races this year, is no longer listed as one of the PAC's endorsed candidates on its website.

The move comes after Jones endorsed Rep. Jamaal Bowman's moderate primary challenger, Westchester County Executive George Latimer, earlier this week. Evan Brown, the executive director of the PAC, said that a "number of factors" led to the decision, and that the board voted "unanimously" on Tuesday to rescind the endorsement.

"I have no regrets about standing up for what I firmly believe in," Jones told Business Insider in a statement.

Later on Thursday, the progressive New York Working Families Party announced that it would also be halting all financial support and organizing efforts on behalf of Jones.

"Over the course of his campaign, Mondaire has strayed from the values and principles that made us proud to support him in 2020," said the group's co-directors Jasmine Gripper and Ana María Archila, saying Jones's endorsement of Latimer "runs counter to our values as a party."

Bowman, a member of the progressive "Squad," is facing the fight of his political life, owing to both his strident criticism of Israel and personal scandals, including pulling a fire alarm at the Capitol last year. The pro-Israel group AIPAC has spent millions of dollars attacking Bowman and boosting Latimer ahead of the June 25 primary.

Jones is running in a district directly north of Bowman's that also includes parts of Westchester County, which is home to a large population of Jewish voters.

"I have known and worked with George Latimer for years," said Jones. "I used to represent thousands of people in what is now New York's 16th Congressional District, and have deep relationships there."

As he announced his endorsement of Latimer, Jones specifically cited Bowman's positions on Israel, including his immediate call for a cease-fire after the Hamas attack, and his past characterization of reports of sexual violence during the October 7 Hamas attack as "propaganda."

"I have been horrified by his recent acceptance of the DSA endorsement, his denial of the sexual assault of Israeli women by Hamas on October 7, and his rush to call for a ceasefire before Israel could hardly begin to defend itself against the worst assault on Jews since the Holocaust," said Jones. "Over the past few months, I have had countless conversations with Jewish residents in my district and across the Lower Hudson Valley who feel anxiety, anger, and fear due to Rep. Bowman's words and actions. I will always stand up for my Jewish constituents."

The move was also seen as an attempt by Jones to separate himself from Bowman's more strident brand of progressive politics as he seeks to appeal to swing voters on his own race. It also benefits Latimer, who has faced charges of racism from progressives as he seeks to unseat a Black incumbent in a majority-minority House district.

Jones was a member of the Progressive Caucus when he previously served in Congress from 2021 to 2023 — and his former colleagues are now livid with him.

"I'm just horrified by it. I'm so disappointed," Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington, the chair of the progressive caucus, told Business Insider on Tuesday. "Jamaal Bowman is our top incumbent protection race, and so to have another endorsed candidate attack our top candidate is really terrible."

Jayapal said at the time that the PAC board was "discussing how we want to respond."

Jones said that he "will continue to be a champion for the policies I have long advocated."

"I will continue to talk about these important issues on the campaign trail and invite all of my former colleagues to support my campaign to take back the House and save democracy itself in what is broadly considered one of the 10 best Democratic pick-up opportunities in the nation. Time is running out," Jones added.

Amid New York's tumultuous redistricting in 2022, Jones was drawn into a district with another top Democrat and opted to run for an open House seat based in lower Manhattan and Brooklyn with the CPC's support. He ultimately lost that primary to now-Rep. Dan Goldman.

Jones is now running in one of his party's top pick-up opportunities for 2024 — President Joe Biden won Lawler's district in 2020. The CPC originally endorsed Jones for the seat in August 2023.

It is unclear how the loss of progressive support will affect his chances in November. Lawler has been eager to highlight Jones's past progressive positions, including his past praise for Bowman.

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