Human Rights Campaign Endorses Former New York Representative Mondaire Jones for Congress

by Alana Caesar

Human Rights Campaign Endorses Former New York Representative Mondaire Jones for Congress

HUDSON VALLEY, NY — Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, announced its endorsement of former Democratic representative Mondaire Jones (NY-17) to the House of Representatives to reclaim his previously held seat. With this endorsement, HRC will focus on activating 28,000 local volunteers and turning out 227,000 New York Equality Voters.

“Representative Jones is ready to head back to Washington to fight for the families of NY-17, and we at the Human Rights Campaign are behind him all the way. Mondaire is a storied leader with a proven record of delivering results for New Yorkers, having been a fighter for healthcare access for all and a defender of our families. The path to a pro-equality majority weaves through New York’s 227,000 Equality Voters and champions like Mondaire, who will work for his constituents, not cameras.”

Kelley Robinson, Human Rights Campaign President

“I am deeply honored to receive the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign. With Mike Lawler’s elevation of Mike Johnson as Speaker of the House—a man who last fall introduced a federal Don’t Say Gay bill— it is more important than ever to elect champions for our community to Congress. I am dedicated to working alongside HRC to defeat Mike Lawler, take back the House majority, and defend LGBTQ+ rights.”

Mondaire Jones

Jones became one of the first openly gay Black men elected to Congress when he won the race to succeed former Democratic Rep. Nita Lowey in 2020. He served as a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and was elected to serve as the freshman representative to House Democratic Leadership. He currently serves on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

During his time in Congress, Jones helped negotiate passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, investing tens of millions of dollars in the nation’s infrastructure, led efforts to improve health care access, and served as co-chair of the Congressional Equality Caucus, where he worked to expand protections for LGBTQ+ Americans.

An Opponent With Troubling Ties to Anti-LGBTQ+ Extremism

Jones’ GOP opponent, incumbent Representative Mike Lawler (NY-17), voted for and actively supports House Speaker Mike Johnson, who has quickly become known for his virulent anti-LGBTQ+ views and white Christian nationalist beliefs. Lawler has fundraised with Speaker Johnson, thereby aligning himself with far-right extremism that is far out of touch with the voters of this district.

Lawler has a record of opposing LGBTQ+ freedom and equality. He voted:

  • To prohibit gender-affirming care for service members and their families and federal employees and their families.

  • To prohibit the pride flag from being displayed in federal facilities.

  • To block trans kids from participating in sports.

  • To limit access to abortion services for some service members.

Lawler has also declined to co-sponsor or support the Equality Act (H.R. 15), which would extend nondiscrimination protections like those already law in New York State to the entire country.

HRC’s Commitment to New York

Equality Voters, including the 227,000 in New York, are a voting bloc of demographically and geographically diverse Americans who are united by the advancement of LGBTQ+ equality. Equality Voters are younger, more racially diverse, and more female than the general electorate, they recognize and trust the HRC brand, and they are more likely to identify with issue-specific organizations than candidates or political parties. HRC will work to mobilize and energize Equality Voters in NY-17 to propel Mondaire Jones to victory in 2024.

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