2024 New York congressional battleground

2024 New York congressional primaries to watch

Setting the stage for November’s showdown.

 Political commentator John Avlon is running against Nancy Goroff in the Democratic primary in New York’s 1st Congressional District.

Political commentator John Avlon is running against Nancy Goroff in the Democratic primary in New York’s 1st Congressional District. Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

New York is square in the spotlight this pivotal election year as control of the House of Representatives hangs in the balance. As many as seven of New York’s 26 seats are considered competitive in November. But before Democrats and Republicans face each other in the general election, a number of contentious congressional primaries are already unfolding in the state. Outside groups have poured millions into the most competitive races ahead of the June 25 primary, most notably in the heated Democratic primary in New York’s 16th Congressional District. Here’s an overview of the congressional primaries to watch in New York. (We relied on The Graduate Center at CUNY’s Redistricting & You for demographic information and Ballotpedia for 2022 election results.) 

1st Congressional District Democratic Primary 

Long Island’s eastern portion, including most of Suffolk County 

Incumbent: Republican Rep. Nick LaLota

Democratic primary candidates: Nancy Goroff and John Avlon

Demographics: 72% white, 15% Hispanic, 5% Asian, 4% Black

2022 election results (old lines): LaLota (R,C): 66%, Bridget Fleming (D): 44%

2020 presidential election results (current lines): Biden 49%, Trump 51%

The race is on to see which Democrat will face freshman incumbent Rep. Nick LaLota this fall in the fight to flip New York’s 1st Congressional District blue. The seat has been in the hands of Republicans for nearly a decade, but it isn’t Nancy Goroff’s first time fighting for it. The former Stony Brook University chemistry professor and department chair ran for the seat in 2020, ultimately losing to then-incumbent Rep. Lee Zeldin in the general election. Also vying for the 2024 nomination is former CNN television commentator John Avlon who also once worked for The Daily Beast and wrote speeches for then-New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. While Avlon has pointed to Goroff’s nearly 10-point loss in 2020 as a reason he’s better suited to take on LaLota, both candidates have insisted that while the district has grown slightly redder in wake of redistricting, it’s still a swing seat – one which they both have every intention of capturing. So far, Goroff, who has raised more than $925,000 with $625,000 cash still on hand, has scored endorsements from EMILY’s List, an organization that works to elect Democratic women, and 314 Action. Avlon, who has raked in more than $1.1 million with roughly $1 million cash on hand, has racked up endorsements from former Rep. Max Rose, New York State United Teachers, state Democratic Party Chair Jay Jacobs, and more. 

14th Congressional District Democratic Primary 

Parts of the East Bronx including Hunts Point, Co-Op City, Throggs Neck and Parkchester, and parts of Queens including Astoria, East Elmhurst and part of Jackson Heights 

Incumbent: Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Democratic primary candidates: Ocasio-Cortez, Marty Dolan

Demographics: 51% Hispanic,18% white, 16% Black, 12% Asian

2022 election results (old lines): Ocasio-Cortez (D,WFP) 71%, Tina Forte (R) 27%

2020 presidential election results (current lines): Biden 79%, Trump 22%

The odds are stacked against Marty Dolan in his long shot bid to challenge Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for her seat. The progressive Congress member has solidified herself as one of the country’s most well-known elected officials, and she easily won the 2022 general election with nearly 70% of the vote. Dolan, a retired insurance executive, is the first person to primary Ocasio-Cortez since 2019. Casting himself as an alternative to liberal incumbents like AOC, Dolan originally planned to challenge socialist Rep. Jamaal Bowman in the 16th Congressional District, but ended up switching races so as to not complicate things for Westchester County Executive George Latimer. Still, it’s all but guaranteed that AOC will again soar to reelection. She’s raised nearly $7 million and has more than $6 million cash still on hand. Dolan meanwhile is largely bankrolling his own campaign with a $225,000 loan to himself and currently has nearly $21,000 cash on hand. 

16th Congressional District Democratic Primary 

Hudson Valley, including Westchester County and Co-Op City in the Bronx

Incumbent: Democratic Rep. Jamaal Bowman

Democratic primary candidates: Bowman and George Latimer 

Demographics: 40% white, 29% Hispanic, 21% Black, 7% Asian

2022 election results (old lines): Bowman (D/WFP) 64%, Miriam Flisser (R) 36%

2020 presidential election results (current lines): Biden 73%, Trump 28%

There were rumors that progressive Rep. Jamaal Bowman would have a challenger on his hands this cycle, most likely from the center of the Democratic Party. Not only were the rumors true, but it was none other than Westchester County Executive George Latimer, who has been winning races in the district since Bowman was in middle school. Even before the Oct. 7 Hamas attack inflamed public sentiment around Israel and Palestine, there was discontent among some constituents around Bowman’s public criticism of Israel, not to mention the fire alarm debacle days before the war broke out. But afterward, Latimer had the backing of the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee, eager to elect a pro-Israel candidate due to Bowman’s outspoken criticism of the country’s treatment of Palestine. Latimer is mounting a formidable campaign, but Bowman is no electoral slouch, having unseated former Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel in 2020 as an insurgent candidate. While he can’t match the financial might of AIPAC, he has a national network of progressive organizers and donors to call on due to his profile and membership in “the Squad.” The two have faced off for a debate already, their relations seemingly souring over the course of the campaign. Latimer is ahead on fundraising so far, raising $3.6 million with $3 million cash on hand compared to Bowman’s $2.7 million raised and $1.4 million on hand. 

22nd Congressional District Democratic Primary

Finger Lakes region, Madison and Onondaga counties including Syracuse, parts of Cayuga and Oneida counties including Utica

Incumbent: Republican Rep. Brandon Williams

Democratic primary candidates: John Mannion and Sarah Klee Hood

Demographics: 76% white, 9% Hispanic, 6% Black, 4% Asian

2022 election results (old lines): Williams (R,C) 50.5%, Francis Conole (D) 49.5%

2020 presidential election results (current lines): Biden 56%, Trump 44%

Incumbent Republican Rep. Brandon Williams won his Syracuse-based seat by a razor-thin margin in 2022, beating Democrat Francis Conole after weathering a tough primary. Williams hasn’t had to fend off any challengers from his right flank, but come November, either Air Force veteran and Dewitt Town Council Member Sarah Klee Hood or state Sen. John Mannion will challenge him for his seat. Klee Hood attempted the feat in 2022, falling to Conole in the primary. Mannion jumped into the fray in July. As a result of the state’s protracted redistricting saga, either Klee Hood or Mannion will be running on more advantageous lines then last cycle. They each are racking up endorsements from unions and local Democratic Party committees as the primary nears, however Williams’ fundraising is far ahead of the pack. He’s raised $2.1 million thus far with more than $1 million cash on hand. Klee Hood is leading Democrats with $1.1 million raised and $416,000 cash on hand while Mannion has raised $681,000 with $372,000 cash on hand. 

24th Congressional District Republican Primary

Snakes along the shore of Lake Ontario, excluding Rochester

Incumbent: Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney

Republican primary candidates: Tenney, Mario Fratto

Demographics: 88% white, 4% Hispanic, 3% Black, 1% Asian

2022 election results (old lines): Claudia Tenney (R, C) 66%, Steven Holden (D) 34%

2020 presidential election results (current lines): Biden 40%, Trump 60%

Rep. Claudia Tenney has represented parts of Central New York on and off since 2017, replacing Rep. Richard Hanna in the 22nd Congressional District after he retired, moving to the 24th Congressional District after redistricting in 2022. While the area is considered a safe seat for Republicans, Tenney has faced a couple of spirited primary challenges. Attorney Mario Fratto is running against Tenney this cycle, a repeat of their 2022 primary contest where Tenney beat him by 14 points. Tenney got into office running to the right of other candidates, but she’s attempted to paint Fratto as a prohibitively right-wing alternative, alleging that infamous white supremacist Nick Fuentes is running his campaign and that Fratto is antisemitic. Fratto denies both allegations. Fratto has labeled Tenney part of the establishment and a RINO (Republican in name only). Last time around, Tenney far outspent Fratto, and this year, while his numbers are better, there's still a sizable gap. Tenney will go into June having raised $1.6 million with $668,000 on hand while Fratto has raised $506,000 with $472,000 cash on hand.