Whitmer’s sister suspends campaign in New York House district, backs Jones

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Liz Whitmer Gereghty, a small-business owner and the sister of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), announced Wednesday that she’s suspending her House campaign in New York and backing former Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.) instead.

Gereghty said in a statement that she was suspending her campaign in New York’s 17th Congressional District, which is currently represented by Rep. Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.) — a decision that came nearly seven months after she launched her bid. Jones, who previously represented New York’s 17th before redistricting, is also running for the seat.

“Throughout the last few months I found my voice to speak on issues beyond the School Board that have life altering impacts on people in this community, across the nation and around the world. I look forward to finding ways to use this energy in the future for the betterment of the Hudson Valley, our state and our nation,” Gereghty said in a statement posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

“I remain committed to doing everything possible to elect Democrats across the board in 2024, especially here in NY-17,” she continued. “Uniting our party and focusing our resources on taking back the House is critical to fighting back against the radical extremism plaguing our politics. In that spirit, I endorse Mondaire Jones’ campaign for Congress.”

Jones said in a statement that his primary rival had called him Tuesday night to let him know she was suspending her campaign and said he was “honored.”

“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. Over the next year, I look forward to working together to once again give the Lower Hudson Valley the representation it deserves in Congress,” he said.

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) took a swipe at Jones following the announcement.

“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. We don’t envy them,” said NRCC spokeswoman Savannah Viar in a statement.

Gereghty’s decision to end her campaign avoids a messy, and potentially expensive, primary in the Hudson Valley. Though she received endorsements from groups including EMILY’s List and Elect Democratic Women, Jones, too, had the support of national groups in addition to that of several members of Congress, including Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

Jones lost his House bid last year after New York’s redistricting created a map that included several awkward member-on-member primaries. Then-Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), who was serving as the chair of House Democrats’ campaign arm, decided to run in the 17th District.

That forced Jones to instead run in the state’s 10th District to avoid challenging Maloney, but he later lost the Democratic primary there to Rep. Dan Goldman (D-N.Y.). Meanwhile, Maloney lost his reelection bid to Lawler.

Republican wins in New York helped the GOP secure a narrow majority in the House last November, and Democrats are heavily targeting many of those incumbents as they look to recapture control of the lower chamber.

Updated: 11:40 a.m.

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