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Whitmer's sister drops from NY House race, endorses progressive Dem for high stakes GOP-controlled seat

Liz Whitmer Gereghty has suspended her campaign for New York’s 17th district and endorsed Democrat Mondaire Jones' bid to oust Republican Mike Lawler.

Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s sister, Liz Whitmer Gereghty, on Wednesday suspended her campaign for the House in New York’s 17th congressional district.

In announcing her exit from the contest as Democrats vie to reclaim the seat won by GOP Rep. Mike Lawler in 2022, Gereghty endorsed former congressman Mondaire Jones. Jones is running a comeback campaign to flip back the once-reliably blue district now considered swing territory in 2024.

The Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC dedicated to electing Republicans to the House of Representatives, billed Jones as an "extreme progressive" who supports Medicare-for-all and the Green New Deal and has backed calls to defund police, along with the abolition of cash bail. 

"When we started this journey, we had one goal: to ensure the Hudson Valley was no longer represented by an anti-choice, shape-shifting extremist out of step with our values," Gereghty said in a statement. "Mike Lawler and his allies are more interested in regulating women than the weapons of war flooding our nation. They are working to defund public schools and don’t want you to notice that Congress’ inaction on common sense gun legislation impacts your property taxes when schools have to increase spending on security to keep our students safe." 


Billing Lawler as a former oil and gas lobbyist "more interested in saving gas stoves than preventing childhood asthma and working to protect the planet for future generations," Gereghty went on to explain her reasoning for endorsing Jones. 

"I remain committed to doing everything possible to elect Democrats across the board in 2024, especially here in NY-17," she wrote. "Uniting our party and focusing our resources on taking back the House is critical to fighting back against the radical extremism plaguing our politics." 

Lawler, who snatched his House seat from then-chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Sean Patrick Maloney in a shocking upset for Democrats, reacted to Gereghty dropping out on X, saying, "That Liz did not find traction in today’s Democratic Party speaks volumes." 

"It’s clear New York Democrats would rather support a ‘defund the police’ and open borders radical, with one of most [sic] partisan voting records in Congress, and who proudly referred to himself as a socialist and Squad-adjacent," Lawler wrote. "Voters in the Hudson Valley will reject that next year."


The Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF) noted how Jones told Teen Vogue during a June 2020 interview that "Congress must cease all funding that militarizes police forces, repeal the 1994 Crime Bill that accelerated mass incarceration, and abolish cash bail," adding, "We must dismantle white supremacy in all aspects of our society, and that means moving funding away from police departments." Jones was also forced to apologize last month over a social media post some people, including members of his own party, considered antisemitic.

"New York Democrats are demonstrating just how out of touch they are with everyday voters by backing a radical socialist, who wants to open our borders and defund the police," CLF communications director Courtney Parella said in a statement to Fox News Digital. "Voters in New York are looking for a common-sense leader like Mike Lawler to represent their interests in Washington, not a progressive socialist like Mondaire Jones, who will absolutely put his extreme agenda over what New Yorkers want."

Jones wrote Wednesday on X, "Last night, Liz Whitmer Gereghty called to tell me she’s suspending her campaign. I thanked her for her contributions to our community. I’m honored to have Liz’s endorsement and ready to work together to defeat Mike Lawler, who masquerades as a moderate on television but votes like an extreme MAGA Republican." 

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