It’s official! Mondaire Jones, a Democrat who represented a swath of New York City’s northern suburbs between 2021 and 2023, announced a comeback bid Wednesday morning in an effort to flip the swing district from red back to blue.
The 36-year-old former congressman said in a video message he will once again vie to be elected in the 17th District, which includes most of the northern portion of Westchester County, all of Rockland and Putnam Counties and some of Dutchess County.
Jones, who is black and openly gay, touted his outsider status in the campaign clip, in which he noted he was raised by a single mom and is the grandson of a janitor and home cleaner.
“I have never been Washington’s choice, because I stand up to corruption,” Jones said.
“Most people in Washington didn’t grow up like me,” Jones said in a campaign video. “They have no idea what it’s like to struggle. We gotta get Washington back on the side of working people. I know we can do better. For me, this is personal.”
After being elected in 2020, Jones opted to run in the nearby 10th District while Democrat Sean Patrick Maloney ran in the 17th and lost to Republican Mike Lawler, even as President Biden overwhelmingly carried the district.
To get a chance at taking down Lawler, Jones will have to win a primary race against Liz Whitmer Gereghty, who serves on the Katonah-Lewisboro school board and is seeking to leverage her sister Gretchen Whitmer’s position as the governor of Michigan for institutional Democratic support.
Gereghty is expected to carve out a more moderate lane in the race, according to Politico, than Jones, who was a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.