The Candidates Running to Replace Nita Lowey in Congress

Photo by Stefan Radtke

 Learn more about each candidate’s core political stances, beliefs, and background.


Update 11/4: Mondaire Jones will replace Nita Lowey as the next Representative for New York’s 17th Congressional District.

Update 6/25:  Mondaire Jones has won the Democratic primary and will go on to face Republican Maureen McAdle-Schulman in November. For detailed candidate bios, continue to the original story below.

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While the nation is already squaring up for what’s sure to be a divisive presidential election this November, one other local contest will have major repercussions in congress, depending on just who manages to replace retiring long-time Congresswoman Nita Lowey.

Chairwoman of the incredibly important Appropriations Committee, Lowey has been in Congress for over 30 years — since 1989, representing parts of northern Westchester and Rockland counties. When she announced in October that she’d be retiring, the immediate question became who would — or could — replace her?

This Tuesday’s primaries will be the first step in determining the answer to that question, so we’re rounding up every person on the ballot for both parties. Check each one out below to see where they stand on the issues you care about.


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Read More: Who Will Be the One to Replace Nita Lowey?

Democratic Primary

David Buchwald

The current NYS Assemblyman for District 93 (Northeastern Westchester County) since 2013, Buchwald is a progressive with a B.S. in physics from Yale and both his M.P.P. in public policy and J.D. from Harvard. Importantly, he is also a former intern to Congresswoman Lowey, which could provide some insider knowledge of her administration, and authored legislation which would have required the release of Donald Trump’s tax returns. He has received a host of endorsements, including Westchester County Executive George Latimer.

Core Issues: Reliance on science to make effective policy; criminal justice and policing reforms; stronger gun laws and a ban on assault-style weapons; tax reform including a repeal of the SALT deduction limit.

Charlkesbider | Wikimedia Commons

David Carlucci

A State Senator out of District 28 (Eastern Rockland plus Ossining and Briarcliff) since 2011, Carlucci graduated from Rockland Community College before heading to Cornell for his undergrad in industrial labor relations and serving as a town clerk for three terms. A moderate Democrat, he previously was a member of the Independent Democratic Conference, which caucused and voted primarily with Republican members of the State Senate until its dissolution in 2018.

Core Issues: Making Westchester and Rockland more affordable, including a $15 federal minimum wage; expansion of the affordable care act and healthcare for all; gun control; policing and penal reform including an end to qualified immunity and solitary confinement; codifying Roe v. Wade.

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Asha Castleberry-Hernandez

A Tarrytown native, Maj. Castleberry-Hernandez joined the U.S. Army after 9/11 and served 30 months in Iraq and Jordan before joining the Obama administration as a foreign policy advisor under Susan Rice and is currently a professor of foreign policy at Baruch College.

Core Issues: Tax reform; affordable housing; public option healthcare and the expansion of Medicare for All; cancellation of student debt and an interest cap; a Green New Deal; a $15 federal minimum wage; reproductive rights; criminal justice reform; gun control; tighter congressional oversight of the military.


Read More: Here’s Who Congresswoman Nita Lowey Thinks Will Be the First Female President

Evelyn Farkas

A first-generation American and the daughter of Hungarian refugees, Farkas previously served as a foreign policy advisor to the U.S. Department of Defense and President Obama’s Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia & Ukraine. Her endorsements include many former and sitting members of congress, including former Secretary of State John Kerry.

Core Issues: Criminal justice and campaign finance reform; the safe decommissioning of Indian Point and federal funding of local schools that have lost tax revenue from the plant; a Green New Deal; public option healthcare; affordable housing reforms; gun control legislation; immigration reform; reduce taxes on the middle class and repeal the SALT deduction cap; reproductive rights.


Alison Fine

Author, nonprofit founder, and Sleepy Hollow resident, Fine is an outspoken women’s activist, most recently chairing the national board of the NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation, and has racked up endorsements from local organizations and community leaders, including longtime Nita Lowey ally Suzi Oppenheimer.

Core Issues: Women’s reproductive rights and fair representation in the workplace; tax, affordable healthcare for all; $15 federal minimum wage; workers’ protections; student debt relief; gun control; pro-Israel Middle East foreign policy.


The New $10,000 SALT Deduction Cap Is Hitting Westchester Homeowners Hard

Mondaire Jones

With endorsements from Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, Julian Castro, a plethora of House reps including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, local politicians and organizations and even The New York Times, Jones is running a progressive, grassroots campaign that has picked up quite a bit of steam leading up to the primary. From Nyack with a J.D. from Harvard Law, Jones could become the first openly gay black member of Congress.

Core Issues: Medicare for All; $15 federal minimum wage and other labor protections; restoring SALT deductions; student debt relief; affordable housing for all; a Green New Deal with provisions on the closing of Indian Point and improved public transportation; social justice reforms in policing, prosecution, incarceration, and immigration; gun control; national security


Adam Schleifer

Schleifer made his name as the Assistant U.S. Attorney in California who prosecuted Felicity Hoffman in the “Varsity Blues” college admissions scandal, as well as a consumer protections regulator in New York. The son of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals co-founder Leonard Schleifer, a large war chest has helped advertise protecting family and the middle class as the main platform of Schleifer’s campaign.

Core Issues: Police and criminal justice reforms, including legalizing and taxing marijuana; gun control; climate protection; tax overhaul, including restoring SALT deductions; gender and sexuality protections; affordable housing; fighting corruption; pro-Israel foreign policy.

Republican Primary

Yehudis Gottesfeld

A Rockland native, Gottesfeld is a chemical engineer with a concentration of study in nuclear engineering who attended Rockland Community College and later the City College of New York. She is also running on the Conservative and Libertarian tickets.

Core Issues: Lowering taxes; supporting nuclear energy; educational reforms; reducing healthcare costs through free market principles; pro-Israel foreign policy.


Maureen McAdle-Schulman

Now retired, McAdle-Schulman was one of the very first women on the FDNY and eventually a lieutenant. She picked up and endorsement from the Westchester County Republican committee.

Core Issues: Creation of a boarder wall; welcoming immigrants; an end to hypocritical partisan politics; a return to American values; veteran protections; pro-life.


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