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Mondaire Jones
Mondaire Jones 117th U.S Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 17th district
In office
January 3, 2021 – January 3, 2023
Preceded by Nita Lowey
Succeeded by Mike Lawler
Member of the United States Commission on Civil Rights
Assumed office
January 3, 2023
Appointed by Nancy Pelosi
Personal details
Born (1987-05-18) May 18, 1987 (age 37)
Nyack, New York, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Education Stanford University (BA)
Harvard University (JD)

Mondaire L. Jones (born May 18, 1987) is an American lawyer and politician who was the U.S. representative for NY's 17th congressional district from 2021 to 2023. The district included most of central and northwestern Westchester County and all of Rockland County. A member of the Democratic Party, Jones is one of the two first openly gay Black members of Congress in history.

As a member of Congress, Jones was described as a rising star on the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. After redistricting, he sought election in 2022 in New York's 10th district after DCCC chair Sean Patrick Maloney chose to run in NY's 17th congressional district. Jones lost the Democratic primary in NY's 10th congressional district to attorney Dan Goldman. In July 2023, Jones announced that he would seek election to his former seat in NY's 17th congressional district in the following year.

Early life and career

Jones was born in Nyack, New York, and grew up in Spring Valley, New York, where he was raised by a single mother, who worked multiple jobs to support him, and his grandparents. He graduated from public schools in the East Ramapo Central School District. He earned his bachelor's degree from Stanford University in 2009. After graduating from Stanford, Jones worked in the U.S. Department of Justice during the presidency of Barack Obama. He then earned his Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School in 2013.

After law school, Jones worked as a law clerk for Andrew L. Carter Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. He also worked for Davis Polk & Wardwell for four years, and one year with the Westchester County Law Department.

U.S. House of Representatives



Jones announced his candidacy for the Democratic primary to represent the 17th district against 16-term incumbent Nita Lowey. Three months after he entered the race, Lowey announced that she would not seek reelection. Jones advocated Medicare for All and the Green New Deal. Jones expressed support for defunding the police.

In a crowded eight-way Democratic primary—the real contest in this heavily Democratic district—Jones defeated attorney Adam Schleifer, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Evelyn Farkas, State Senator David Carlucci, and State Assemblyman David Buchwald, among others, winning 42% of the vote. The Associated Press called the race for Jones on July 14, 2020, three weeks after the June 23 primary, the vote tabulation having been delayed because of a large number of absentee ballots due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the general election, Jones faced Republican nominee Maureen McArdle Schulman, a former FDNY firefighter, as well as several third-party candidates. The Associated Press called the race for Jones the day after the election. Along with Ritchie Torres from New York's 15th congressional district, Jones was one of the first gay African Americans elected to the United States House of Representatives.

USPS lawsuit

On August 17, 2020, Jones filed suit in the Southern District of New York against President Donald Trump and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to reverse recent changes made to the United States Postal Service (USPS) that affected the agency's ability to deliver mail, including absentee ballots. In an opinion piece, Jones said he sued Trump and DeJoy "for violating the Constitution in their attempts to undermine the United States Postal Service and thwart free and fair elections this November."

On September 21, 2020, U.S. District Court Judge Victor Marrero granted an injunction against the USPS that required it to restore overtime and treat all mail-in ballots as First-Class. Jones celebrated the decision.


Following redistricting, the 17th district included the residence of Sean Patrick Maloney, the Democratic incumbent in the neighboring 18th district and chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. According to The Guardian, "Maloney decided to run in New York's 17th congressional district rather than his longtime, more urban, 18th district, even though that meant booting out the newer Mondaire Jones, his fellow Democrat and the incumbent congressman in the 17th district". According to The Hill, Maloney's decision "infuriated Jones and his allies, particularly those in the Congressional Black Caucus, who accused Maloney of putting his own political survival over the interests of the party".

Jones opted not to challenge Maloney in the redrawn 17th district; instead, on May 20, 2022, Jones announced that he would seek election in New York's 10th congressional district. Jones finished third in the Democratic primary in the 10th district, which was won by attorney Dan Goldman. Jones received 18.2% of the vote.


In July 2023, it was reported that Jones had moved to Sleepy Hollow, a village in his former 17th district. In July 2023, Jones launched his campaign to return to Congress in the 17th district. After the removal of Speaker Kevin McCarthy, Jones tweeted a photo of McCarthy and Lawler meeting with Jewish leaders in Rockland County captioned "Well that was a waste of time." The post was condemned as antisemitic by Democrats Jared Moskowitz and Josh Gottheimer. Jones took down the tweet and apologized for any misunderstanding. Following the removal Moskowitz and Gottheimer took down their response and Moskowitz accepted Jones's apology and emphasized his prior record of opposing antisemitism.


Jones voted to certify the 2020 United States presidential election and later voted to impeach during Trump's second impeachment. He and Ted Lieu cowrote a letter to the Attorney Grievance Committee of the New York State Supreme Court-Appellate Division asking for Rudy Giuliani to be disbarred due to his role in the January 6 United States Capitol attack.

Jones successfully lobbied U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to halt the deportation of Paul Pierrilus, who was scheduled to be the last person to be deported during the Trump administration. Pierrilus, a constituent of Jones's, was to be deported to Haiti, a country he had never been to, before Jones intervened.

Jones, Senator Ed Markey, Representative Hank Johnson, and House Judiciary chair Jerry Nadler pushed for an expansion of the Supreme Court from 9 seats to 13. Around the same time, Jones called for a "Third Reconstruction" in a Washington Post opinion piece. Jones criticized President Obama for supporting the 9 member status quo system of the Supreme Court and opposing the court's expansion.

Committee assignments

  • House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee
  • House Judiciary Committee
    • Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law
    • Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet
  • House Committee on Education and Labor
    • Subcommittee on Workforce Protections
    • Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Investment
  • House Committee on Ethics

Caucus memberships

After Congress

Speaker Nancy Pelosi appointed Mondaire to the United States Commission on Civil Rights on January 3, 2023. Also in January 2023, he joined CNN as an on-air contributor.

Personal life

Jones came out as gay when he was 24. He is a member of the First Baptist Church of Spring Valley.

In June 2020, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the first gay Pride parade, Queerty named Jones among the 50 people "leading the nation toward equality, acceptance, and dignity for all people."

Electoral history


2020 Democratic primary, New York's 17th congressional district
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Mondaire Jones 32,796 41.91%
Democratic Adam Schleifer 12,732 16.27%
Democratic Evelyn Farkas 12,210 15.60%
Democratic David Carlucci 8,649 11.05%
Democratic David Buchwald 6,673 8.53%
Democratic Asha Castleberry-Hernandez 2,062 2.64%
Democratic Allison Fine 1,588 2.03%
Democratic Catherine Parker 1,539 1.97%
Total votes 78,246 100%
2020 general election, New York's 17th congressional district
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Mondaire Jones 183,975 55.27%
Working Families Mondaire Jones 13,378 4.02%
Total Mondaire Jones 197,353 59.29%
Republican Maureen McArdle Schulman 117,307 35.25%
Conservative Yehudis Gottesfeld 8,887 2.67%
Education. Community. Law. Joshua Eisen 6,363 1.91%
SAM Michael Parietti 2,745 0.82%
Write-in 197 0.06%
Total votes 332,852 100%
Democratic hold


2022 Democratic primary, New York's 10th congressional district
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Dan Goldman 16,686 25.8
Democratic Yuh-Line Niou 15,380 23.7
Democratic Mondaire Jones (incumbent) 11,777 18.2
Democratic Carlina Rivera 10,985 17.0
Democratic Jo Anne Simon 3,991 6.2
Democratic Elizabeth Holtzman 2,845 4.4
Democratic Jimmy Li 777 1.2
Democratic Yan Xiong 686 1.1
Democratic Maud Maron 578 0.9
Democratic Bill de Blasio (withdrawn) 477 0.7
Democratic Brian Robinson 322 0.5
Democratic Peter Gleason 147 0.2
Democratic Quanda Francis 121 0.2
Total votes 64,772 100.0

See also

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