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Candidate who lost NY congressional primary urges supporters to protest Democratic nominee

‘You can still write me in,’ State Rep. Yuh-Line Niou says after being snubbed by the man who beat her, Dan Goldman

A state lawmaker who narrowly lost last month’s Democratic primary for a New York City congressional seat told supporters on Tuesday they could write her name on the November ballot to protest the party’s nominee, Dan Goldman, a former prosecutor and heir to the Levi Strauss fortune.

“You can still write me in,” State Rep. Yuh-Line Niou wrote in a WhatsApp group of supporters that includes this reporter. “People can literally do that and show him what his millions buys lol.”

Niou stood out during the campaign in the heavily Jewish district spanning parts of Brooklyn and Manhattan for her support of the boycott movement against Israel. Goldman, in contrast, campaigned hard on his pro-Israel credentials and played up his Jewish background.

Yuh-Line Niou in a Whatsapp group conversation with supporters on Sept. 20, 2022. Photo by Jacob Kornbluh/Screenshot

Asked outside the group chat whether she was seriously considering a write-in campaign, Niou said “no,” explaining that her suggestion was a tongue-in-cheek reply to a supporter who had posted to the group that he might write in “Santa Claus” as code for her.

The WhatsApp appeal came hours after HuffPost published an article about Goldman’s efforts to extend an olive branch to leftists in the district, including some of his former rivals — but not to Niou. Asked by the HuffPost reporter whether he would welcome Niou’s endorsement, Goldman said, “I don’t really care.”

Niou, in the chat, said of Goldman, who beat her by about 1,300 votes:  “I’m just literally shocked by how bad he is. I’m miserable for my people.” 

A spokesperson for Goldman did not immediately return a request for comment on Tuesday evening. 

Niou, who had also been endorsed by the Working Families Party during the 12-person primary, considered running again in November on that party’s line. Many of her supporters suggested that she would be able to consolidate support that had been spread among several leftist candidates in the crowded primary, which Goldman won with 26% of the overall vote.

She decided earlier this month not to pursue that path, concluding that because the district is overwhelmingly Democratic, a third-party campaign would be a longshot, and that the Working Family Party’s resources would be better used for competitive races nationally. 

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