Liz Whitmer Gereghty, a small-business founder and sister of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), announced Wednesday that she is suspending her campaign for Congress in a competitive district in New York’s Hudson Valley.
Gereghty said in a statement that she remains “committed to doing everything possible to elect Democrats across the board in 2024” and endorsed former congressman Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.) for the seat, saying that “uniting our party and focusing our resources on taking back the House is critical to fighting back against the radical extremism plaguing our politics.”
Democrats narrowly lost the seat in New York’s 17th Congressional District last year and see it as one of their best pickup opportunities in 2024.
Gereghty, who has lived in the Hudson Valley for more than 20 years, was new to congressional politics and during her campaign launch highlighted her service on the local school board.
Gereghty’s departure gives Jones a significant boost in the Democratic primary race.
Jones won the seat in 2020 but opted to run in a different district last year after redistricting in the state prompted then-Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) to run in the 17th District. Maloney narrowly lost to Michael Lawler (R-N.Y.).
Jones wrote on X that Gereghty called him Tuesday night to let him know that she would be suspending her campaign. He said he was honored by her endorsement and is “ready to work together to defeat Michael Lawler.”
Democratic groups see New York congressional districts like Lawler’s, which flipped for Republicans in 2022, as the key to regaining control of the House next year. They’ve invested early in the New York races — and invested more than in years past.
Vulnerable New York Republicans in Congress have found themselves defending their records during a tumultuous year for their conference. And they have also sought to distance themselves from fellow New York Rep. George Santos (R). The House Ethics Committee recently released a scathing report that found “substantial evidence” that the freshman lawmaker knowingly violated ethics guidelines, House rules and criminal laws.
Santos, who has pleaded not guilty to 23 federal criminal charges, recently said that he expects to be expelled from Congress as early as this week.
House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), who has expressed reservations about the motion to expel Santos, is slated to lead a fundraiser for Lawler in Westchester County this weekend.
John Wagner contributed to this report.