Dem leadership closes ranks to help top member unseat young black left-winger

Sebastian Hughes, DCNF

Democratic leadership is backing up the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee after he received criticism for running in a freshman black colleague’s congressional district, Politico reported.

New York Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney announced he would run for the state’s 17th Congressional District’s seat, currently held by freshman left-wing Democratic Rep. Mondaire Jones, after the state’s newly proposed congressional map changed the lines of his own district.

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi voiced her support for Maloney amid frustration over the decision, Politico reported. At least a dozen Democratic members of the House have considered attempting to depose Maloney from his role as chair, multiple people familiar with the matter told the outlet.

“We have a great chairman of the DCCC,” Democratic House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters Thursday, Politico reported. “And we’re very proud of Sean Patrick Maloney.”

Jones, whose current constituents would represent 70% of the new 17th district, expressed anger towards Maloney for his decision and for not telling him before making the announcement. He received support from fellow left-wing Democrats, such as New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, who called Maloney’s decision “terrible” and “hypocritical,” Politico reported.

“It’s also particularly shameful as a member of Dem leadership, especially as the leadership of the DCCC, who asks all of us to make sacrifices … who cannot seem to take his redistricting on the chin,” she told Politico’s Ally Mutnik.

Allies of Maloney are reportedly spreading the message that Jones, a black man, would be a better fit for another district due to his political ideology, which fellow freshman New York Rep. Ritchie Torres called “thinly veiled racism.”

“A black man is ideologically ill suited to represent a Westchester County District that he represents presently and won decisively in 2020? Outrageous,” Torres tweeted Wednesday.

Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries and other top members of the Congressional Black Caucus asked Torres to “dial it down” and keep frustration over the state’s new lines “within the family,” Punchbowl News reported.

Maloney’s decision could force Jones to campaign in New York‘s 16th Congressional District, represented by Democratic Rep. Jamaal Bowman, another black congressman, Punchbowl News reported. Jones said he does not plan on making a decision on which district to run in until Friday.

“Do I want to see two new African-American congressmen — Mondaire Jones and Jamaal Bowman — lose their seats? Of course not! I don’t want to see representatives who are committed to justice and equality sacrificed,” New York State NAACP chapter president Hazel Dukes told the New York Post.

The offices of Maloney, Jones and Pelosi did not immediately respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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