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Dan Goldman marches in the NYC pride parade

Congressional candidate Dan Goldman marches with his daughter in the 2022 New York City Pride march on June 26, 2022 in New York City. (Photo: Astrida Valigorsky/Getty Images)

Progressives Accuse Dan Goldman of Trying to 'Buy a Seat in Congress' in New York

In a recent poll, Goldman had the support of 22% of respondents in New York's 10th District, while progressive assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou had 17%.

Julia Conley

New York City Council member Tiffany Cabán on Tuesday accused former federal prosecutor Dan Goldman of trying to make up for his lack of legislative experience by pouring millions of dollars into his congressional campaign in New York's 10th District and urged voters to nominate state assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou in next week's Democratic primary.

"Let's not let a wealthy heir with money in weapons development, fossil fuels, and Fox News buy a seat in Congress," Cabán said of the attorney who led House Democrats' first impeachment case against former President Donald Trump.

"The one and only reason a candidate like Dan Goldman would oppose Medicare for All is that he puts insurance industry profits above peoples' lives."

Goldman would be among the richest members of Congress if he wins the primary and then November's general election in the heavily Democratic, newly drawn district. According to Bloomberg, financial disclosure forms from his campaign show that he has a net worth of at least $64 million and as high as $253 million.

He has poured nearly $4 million of his personal fortune—which includes holdings in major banks, military contractors, health insurers, and fossil fuel companies—into his campaign.

By contrast, two candidates who have been endorsed by a number of progressive groups and lawmakers—Niou and her fellow council member, Carlina Rivera—have raised $427,000 and $634,000, respectively, according to Patch.

As an assemblymember representing constituents who live within District 10, Niou has worked to ensure public housing repairs are funded and formed New York's first-ever Asian Pacific American Legislative Task Force to advance issues affecting Asian-Americans in the state.

Niou "has a demonstrated track record of courageously fighting for our communities and confronting the powerful elite with a fearlessness few other elected officials can match," Cabán tweeted Tuesday.

Niou, who came in second and was five percentage points behind Goldman in a poll released by Emerson College on Monday, spoke with fellow candidate Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.) at a press conference on Tuesday, urging voters to reject Goldman and slamming the New York Times for its endorsement of him earlier this week.

Jones—who launched his campaign in District 10 after the district he has represented since 2021 was redrawn—and Niou referred to Goldman as their "multimillionaire opponent" and called on voters to support "anyone but Goldman," but neither suggested that they are planning to drop out of the race and coalesce around one progressive candidate ahead of the August 23 primary.

In the Emerson College poll, Goldman had the support of 22% of respondents and Niou had 17%, while Jones and Rivera were tied for third place with 13% of respondents saying they planned to back them. Seventeen percent of District 10 voters were undecided.

"I would love to see a consolidation. I think it's critical for progressives to unite on this front," Cabán told City & State Tuesday. "But I get it, it's hard to tell a candidate to step aside. I get that."

Other progressive groups have pointed to Goldman's lack of experience representing constituents compared to his opponents.

While Niou "was delivering [personal protective equipment] and food to her constituents at the height of the pandemic," said the New York Working Families Party, "Dan Goldman was kicking back in the Hamptons. We know who we want representing us in the tough moments."

Niou has also racked up endorsements from the Sunrise Movement, New York City Council member Shahana Hanif, New York Communities for Change, and New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.

Meanwhile, the Times' endorsement of Goldman garnered harsh criticism from progressives who noted that the former assistant U.S. attorney has social ties to the Sulzberger family, which has long controlled the newspaper.

The Times' endorsement neglected to mention the candidacies of Niou and Rivera, despite the fact that they currently represent New Yorkers in District 10.

When asked at Tuesday's press conference whether she was "offended" by the newspaper's failure to acknowledge her work as an assemblymember, Niou replied, "I'm used to being erased."

"The Times represents wealthy NYC and Goldman is one of them, so they feel comfortable with him," said New York University law professor Chris Sprigman. "But he's not by any means the best candidate for NY-10."

After journalist Ryan Grim pointed out that members of the Sulzberger family attended schools with Goldman and have donated to his previous political campaigns, the Times denied his connections had anything to do with the endorsement, saying all of its political endorsements are "merit-based independent decisions."

In addition to the criticism of his largely self-funded campaign and his ties to the powerful newspaper, Goldman's political views have led progressive advocates to warn that he is the wrong candidate for the 10th District.

At a recent debate, Goldman discussed his support of a "public option" rather than a single-payer healthcare system and said the U.S. should maintain "private health insurance for those who want to purchase it."

"The one and only reason a candidate like Dan Goldman would oppose Medicare for All is that he puts insurance industry profits above peoples' lives," said No ID NYC, a progressive group supporting Niou.

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