NY progressive who narrowly lost primary considers third party run
Yuh-Line Niou, who narrowly lost her bid in New York's Democratic primary race last week, possibly in part due to what was perceived to be her support for BDS, appears to be considering running as a third-party candidate in November, according to a report by Jewish Insider.
According to the report, Mondaire Jones, who currently serves as a representative of New York's 17th district, having switched to District 10 for the 2022 midterm race and came in third place, has taken his name off the Working Families Party's ballot, which would give Niou the chance at another run in November.
The narrow win by first-time congressional candidate Dan Goldman has faced criticism among progressives due to his high level of self-funding. Goldman has explicitly said he does not support BDS, describing it as "anti-Semitic".
Niou, on the other hand, has been in the spotlight over BDS for the last month of her campaign after she said she supports the Palestinian boycott movement on free speech grounds.
Since then, she has been repeatedly asked for clarification on her position, though she made little elaboration. In the final days of her campaign, she was also targeted with mailers funded by an AIPAC affiliate, United Democracy Project.
In the end, her firm (though not ideological) support for BDS made her stand out in a crowded field, where she came in a close second, solidly ahead of a popular progressive incumbent, possibly a sign that voters at least support the right to boycott.
On her website, Jewish Insider found that she had quietly added a section on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to its issues page.
"While Yuh-Line has not personally participated in the BDS movement, she supports the free speech rights of BDS activists," it reads. "Yuh-Line believes that protest rights are fundamental to a free society, and we must never enact laws that punish the free exercise of those rights. At the same time, Yuh-Line does not agree with all of the BDS movement's demands nor does she embrace all of its tactics."
Though Niou has repeatedly tried to emphasise her support for the right to practice BDS, rather than commit to the movement one way or another, it appears to be something that will follow her into the general midterm, should she decide to run as a third-party candidate.
Though it might appear unusual that a Democrat would compete in the November election after losing in the primary, it would not be unheard of.
Last year, in the race for mayor in Buffalo, New York, establishment Democrat Byron Brown lost against Democratic Socialist India Walton in the primary, then won as a write-in candidate. In Niou’s case, she would be doing so as a progressive with possibly more obstacles.