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Progressives target Trump impeachment lawyer in crowded New York House primary

Daniel Goldman has a target on his back as he heads into Tuesday as the front-runner in a crowded Democratic primary for a New York district that covers lower Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn.

Goldman, a former federal prosecutor and an heir to the Levi Strauss fortune, entered the 10th District race after suspending a bid for New York attorney general, joining an internecine fight that includes around a dozen candidates. Buoyed by an endorsement from the New York Times and a poll last week showing him leading the pack, he’s drawn fire from his left, as progressive rivals accuse him of being a “conservative Democrat” who’s trying to buy the seat with his wealth.

Goldman, who served as Democrats’ lead counsel during then-President Donald Trump’s first impeachment proceedings, has poured some $4 million of his own money into the race and has staked out more centrist positions on healthcare, student debt cancellation, and Supreme Court expansion.

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State Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou and Rep. Mondaire Jones, both progressive candidates for the 10th District, held a joint press conference last week convened specifically to oppose him.

“Conservative Democrat Dan Goldman cannot be allowed to purchase this congressional seat, certainly not in one of the most progressive congressional districts in the country, and not at a time when our democracy is in crisis,” Jones said.

Jones continued his attacks on Goldman two days later in a primary debate.

“I know the economic pain that people are feeling because I grew up in Section 8 housing and on food stamps, raised by a young, single mom. I can’t imagine this district sending someone to Congress who’s worth $253 million,” he said last Wednesday, referring to Goldman’s wealth.

In the aftermath of a messy redistricting process, Jones, who currently represents New York’s 17th District, chose to seek reelection in the new 10th District rather than face a member vs. member primary against Rep. Sean Maloney (D-NY), chairman of House Democrats’ campaign arm, in his current district or against ally Rep. Jamaal Bowman in another nearby district.

Other candidates in the race include New York City Councilwoman Carlina Rivera and former Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman. Goldman leads the pack with 22% of the vote, according to a recent Emerson College Polling/Pix11/Hill survey, followed by Niou (17%), Jones (13%), and Rivera (13%).

Goldman received a sarcastic endorsement from the ex-president in the homestretch of the race. In a post on his social media platform, Trump called Goldman “honorable, fair, and highly intelligent.”

“While it was my honor to beat him, and beat him badly, Dan Goldman has a wonderful future ahead,” Trump wrote on Truth Social last week, adding it was his “great honor to Strongly Endorse him.”

Goldman responded to Trump’s faux endorsement by calling it an attempt to meddle in the election.

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“This is a pathetic attempt at fooling Democrats who are far smarter than Trump is, and it’s clear that only one candidate in NY-10 is living rent-free in Trump’s head,” he said in a statement. “Buckle up, Donald. Dan’s coming for you.”