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Primary in N.Y. House district covering lower Manhattan and Brooklyn too close to call

Former federal prosecutor Daniel Goldman was slightly ahead of state Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou early Wednesday in the Democratic primary for the newly drawn 10th Congressional District.
Daniel Goldman
Daniel Goldman testifies before the House Judiciary Committee on Dec. 9, 2019.Drew Angerer / Getty Images file

WASHINGTON — The Democratic primary race for New York's 10th Congressional District was too close to call early Wednesday, according to NBC News' projection.

With 98% of the vote in, former federal prosecutor Daniel Goldman, who has been the favorite to win the primary, was leading state Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou 25.8% to 23.7%. Rep. Mondaire Jones, D-N.Y., who has represented Rockland and parts of Westchester counties but ran in the 10th because of redistricting, was lagging behind with about 18.2% of the vote.

In recent weeks, Goldman, 46, who served as counsel for House Democrats during the first impeachment inquiry into then-President Donald Trump, had been leading the crowded field. He is a former MSNBC contributor and heir to the Levi Strauss fortune who loaned his campaign several million dollars and won the New York Times’ endorsement for the primary. Jones had branded Goldman as a "conservative" Democrat in the race.

Niou has served in the New York state Assembly since 2017 and has represented a district that covers lower Manhattan. She was backed by a number of prominent New York City progressives and would be the first openly autistic member of Congress.

The Democratic primary election for the new 10th Congressional District, which spans from lower Manhattan to Brooklyn, was initially scheduled for late June, but was held Tuesday so that the new map could be implemented.

Goldman launched his congressional bid in June after exiting the race for New York attorney general late last year following incumbent Letitia James' decision to leave the race for governor and run for re-election. He was the Democrats’ lead counsel in the House impeachment investigation into Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden by withholding U.S. aid to the country. The House impeached Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress in December 2019; Trump was acquitted in the Senate.

Ahead of the primary, Trump sought to influence the election by issuing a backhanded endorsement of Goldman. The former president bragged about being acquitted in the trial and said on social media that “it is my great honor to Strongly Endorse” Goldman, predicting he has “a wonderful future ahead.” Goldman dismissed it as an “obvious effort to manipulate the election to prevent me from standing up to him again in Congress.”

In May, former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also announced that he would run for the 10th Congressional District seat, but dropped out in mid-July, saying that it became clear to him that voters were "looking for another option."