Ex-CNN anchor John Avlon running for Long Island House

Former CNN anchor John Avlon on Wednesday launched his campaign to take on Rep. Nick LaLota (R-NY) in New York’s 1st Congressional District. 

Avlon, 51, will run as a Democrat in the district formerly occupied by Republican Lee Zeldin, which encompasses parts of Suffolk County and eastern Long Island.

The announcement comes two weeks after the veteran newsman departed CNN, where he worked as an anchor and political analyst. He previously served as the editor-in-chief of the Daily Beast and as a speechwriter for former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. 

John Avlon is running as a Democrat in Long Island's 1st Congressional District
Avlon slammed what he called “MAGA minions” in the House of Representatives. John Avlon

“I believe the United States is the greatest democracy the world has ever known. And right now, our democracy is in danger,” Avlon said in a video posted on X.

“This election is not a drill. It’s up to all of us to step up and get off the sidelines. And that’s why I’m running for Congress. In New York’s first district,” he continued.

“There’s just too much at stake for the country and the community that I love,” he added. “We need to build the broadest possible coalition to defeat Donald Trump, defend our democracy and win back the House from his MAGA minions who don’t even seem interested in solving problems.”

Avlon promised that his campaign would focus on rebuilding the middle class, investing in infrastructure, protecting abortion access and combatting climate change.

“Democrats can’t afford to lose this fight,” he added. 

The non-partisan Cook Political Report rates New York’s 1st Congressional District as “likely Republican” in 2024, and Avlon will be challenged by several Democratic opponents in the primary, which will be held on June 25. 

LaLota won the House seat in 2022 by a 10-point margin. 

John Avlon
Avlon left CNN earlier this month. CNN

The first-term congressman’s campaign dismissed Avlon’s challenge. 

“John Avlon is a Manhattan elitist without any attachments to Long Island other than his summer home in the Hamptons,” LaLota spokesman Will Kiley said in a statement. 

“Avlon knows nothing about Suffolk County other than Sag Harbor croquet matches and summer cocktail parties in Bridgehampton,” he added.

“It may take burning millions of his friends’ money for Avlon to learn NY-1 has a history of rejecting out-of-state and Manhattan elitists, from both sides of the aisle, who parachute into the district attempting to buy a seat in Congress.”

Kiley called LaLota “the common sense conservative voice Long Island needs at this crucial time in our great nation’s history.”

Written by SaleemBaloch

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