In a newly drawn district with an open-seat race and a diverse population, the contest for New York’s 10th Congressional seat has 11 candidates running in Tuesday’s Democratic Primary. In the final week of the race, after receiving visits from many of these contenders, the Jewish leaders in Boro Park issued an endorsement for Dan Goldman, 46, a former federal prosecutor who worked on the first impeachment of President Donald Trump.
“There is only one candidate who has the qualifications and understanding to represent the Boro Park residents in Washington,” they wrote in a Yiddish endorsement letter. “It is critically important for our community to have a representative in Washington who will stand on our side and represent our interests with devotion and understanding.”
The signatories include representatives of the Bobov, Satmar, Klausenburg, and Belz communities, among others. They note that all of the candidates running in this race have “strong progressive stances,” and Goldman is the closest to the political center, as it concerns Orthodox Jewish interests and support for Israel.
Aside from his successful prosecution of Trump before Members of Congress, liberal voters in this district do not regard Goldman as sufficiently progressive. His full name is Daniel Sachs Goldman, with millions of dollars to his name; much of his campaign has been self-funded, and he is an heir to the Levi Strauss fortune.
Other top candidates in this contest include Manhattan Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou, who has the support of The Jewish Vote, a leftist organization that supports BDS against Israel. Concerning this movement, Niou appeared to waver between supporting it on free-speech grounds and personally opposing it.
“I do not support calls to oppose the BDS movement; at the same time, I do not agree with all of its demands nor do I embrace all of its tactics,” Niou replied in a candidate questionnaire, from the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York. “No movement is perfect, just like no person is perfect.”
Other candidates include former Rep. Liz Holtzman, former Councilwoman Carlina Rivera, Rep. Mondaire Jones, and business owner Brian Robinson.
Closer to our readership base, the 3rd District, which covers Bayside, Glen Oaks, Little Neck, Great Neck, and Roslyn, also has an open seat primary for the seat vacated by Rep. Tom Suozzi. Earlier this summer, the centrist Democrat ran unsuccessfully against Gov. Kathy Hochul, leaving him out of elected office.
The candidates include public relations executive Robert Zimmerman, 67, who leads in fundraising and endorsements. His closest competitor is County Legislator Josh Lafazan, 28. Last year, Lafazan passed a bill that designated police officers as a “protected class” with the ability to sue protesters for harassment or injury. This bill angered civil rights activists and progressives, while securing Lafazan’s reputation as a conservative-leaning Democrat who can work with Republicans. He has the endorsement of Suozzi, a member of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus in Congress.
Other candidates in this race include Suffolk County Deputy County Executive Jon Kaiman, and progressive activist Melanie D’Arrigo.
On the southern side of Nassau County, the 6th District covers the Five Towns, West Hempstead, Elmont, and Valley Stream. Like its northern neighbor, this is a centrist district whose retiring incumbent Rep. Kathleen Rice is the former county district attorney. The most recognizable name in this race is former Hempstead town Supervisor Laura Gillen, who is supported by Rice and her predecessor Carolyn McCarthy. Seeking to energize party voters, Gillen vows to defend abortion rights in Congress, pass gun safety laws, and reduce taxes.
Her opponents described Gillen as an “establishment” candidate whose fundraising lead and endorsements may not translate to actual votes. With little media attention given to this race, a local base of support could make the difference on Tuesday. Other candidates running for this seat include Nassau County Legislator Carrie Solages, who represents Elmont, Valley Stream, and North Woodmere; and Malverne Mayor Keith Corbett.
The candidates recognize that, unlike elections in the city, this suburban district will have a competitive general election. Republicans feel a sense of momentum, having ousted Democratic incumbents in recent elections for Hempstead Town Supervisor and Nassau County Executive.
In the 3rd District, the Democratic Primary winner will face Republican George Santos, 34. The openly gay son of Brazilian parents brings diversity to the party of Trump, along with the party’s traditional platform of reining in federal spending and reducing bureaucracy.
In the 6th District, the Republican candidate is Hempstead Town Councilman Anthony D’Esposito, a former NYPD detective.
The Democratic Primary election is this Tuesday, and the general election will be on November 8. Midterm elections are often regarded as a referendum on the president, and while local issues matter, Joe Biden’s policies concerning gas and food prices, and the investigation of Trump’s role in the January 6, 2021, insurrection, among other items, will also impact who the voters will pick. The future of the majority party in Congress is on the line.
By Sergey Kadinsky