Jun 6, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Progressive Caucus pulls Mondaire Jones endorsement

Reps. Mondaire Jones, wearing a blue suit, and Jamaal Bowman, wearing a black jacket.

Reps. Mondaire Jones and Jamaal Bowman at a "Just Majority" Supreme Court reform press conference on April 30, 2023. Photo: Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Just Majority.

Former Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.) said Thursday that the Congressional Progressive Caucus' political arm rescinded its endorsement of his comeback bid after he endorsed an opponent to Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.).

Why it matters: The episode reflects broader tensions that have been roiling the Progressive Caucus since the onset of the Israel-Hamas war, which has led several members to leave the group.

Driving the news: Jones said in a statement on Thursday morning that the Progressive Caucus PAC notified his campaign on Wednesday evening that they were pulling its endorsement.

  • It comes after Jones endorsed Westchester County Executive George Latimer over Bowman in a neighboring congressional district due to Bowman's vocal criticism of Israel.
  • The move sparked anger and feeling of betrayal among many of Jones' onetime allies in the Progressive Caucus.

What he's saying: "I have no regrets about standing up for what I firmly believe in. I have known and worked with George Latimer for years ... Rep. Bowman and I have very different views on Israel," Jones said.

  • Jones said he was "horrified" by Bowman's comments on Israel and that he spoke to Jewish constituents who "feel anxiety, anger, and fear due to Rep. Bowman's words and actions."
  • Progressive Caucus PAC Executive Director Evan Brown confirmed the development. Brown said it was due to "a number of factors" and was a "unanimous decision" by the PAC's board, which is made up of CPC members.
  • A spokesperson for Bowman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Between the lines: Jones and Bowman were elected to Congress in 2020 in adjacent district – both including portions of Westchester – as trailblazing Black progressives and allies.

  • Jones was a prominent member of the Progressive Caucus and seen as a friend of the progressive "Squad," of which Bowman is a part, though generally more pro-Israel.
  • But after initially being elected to a safely Democratic district and then being drawn out in redistricting, Jones is now running in a swing district held by Rep. Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.).
  • Lawler's campaign has accused Jones of obscuring past progressive views on issues like law enforcement and immigration.
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