Former CNN anchor launches Democratic primary bid for New York House seat

Former CNN anchor John Avlon announced his bid to represent New York’s 1st Congressional District on Wednesday, entering the race to challenge Rep. Nick LaLota (R-NY) in November.

Avlon, who left CNN earlier this month after 14 years on the network, launched his campaign with a video focused heavily on protecting democracy posted to X. He joins a crowded field of Democrats hoping to unseat LaLota in his district, which the Cook Political Report rates “likely Republican.”

“I believe the United States is the greatest democracy the world has ever known,” the former editor-in-chief of the Daily Beast said. “But right now, our democracy is in danger. 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 1st District.

“There’s just too much at stake for the country and the community that I love,” he added.

Avlon also used the video to take aim at former President Donald Trump and “his MAGA minions, who don’t even seem interested in solving problems anymore.”

In addition to his long media career, Avlon is a founding member of the No Labels movement,  the organization working to get on the presidential ballot in a dozen states come November. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who has been associated with No Labels for over a decade, announced earlier this month that he would not be the organization’s nominee in November.

Among the Democrats Avlon will be running against are former state Sen. James Gaughran, former New York City administrative law Judge Craig Herskowitz, and organic chemist Nancy Goroff. 

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The National Republican Congressional Committee painted Avalon as too liberal for the Long Island district.

“We look forward to litigating this smug, liberal hack’s past so voters can see just how Left he and the rest of the modern Democrat party have become,” NRCC spokeswoman Savannah Viar said in a statement.

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