Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.) won the endorsement of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Monday in a crowded Democratic primary battle for the newly created NY-10 district.
The trailblazing progressive, who switched districts in a game of political musical chairs, is widely admired by colleagues in Congress and has a bulging campaign war chest for the Aug. 23 primary.
But Jones faces a difficult battle with other popular rivals in the new seat spanning lower Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn.
“Mondaire Jones has gotten real results for New Yorkers,” Pelosi said in a statement.
“I’ve worked closely with Speaker Pelosi to deliver real results for New York’s working families, and I’m proud to have her support,” Jones added in a statement of his own.
Jones has struggled to gain traction in polls of the new district, which was created out of whole cloth after the state’s top court trashed a Democratic redistricting plan as an illegal gerrymander.
[ Rep. Mondaire Jones downplays newcomer status in crowded congressional primary ]
New York City Council Member Carlina Rivera (D-Lower East Side) leads the polls along with Assemblywoman Yuh-line Niou (D-Chinatown) and Daniel Goldman, a Democratic lawyer.
Former Mayor Bill de Blasio dropped out of the race after his comeback effort fell flat with voters.
[ De Blasio pulls plug on sputtering congressional bid ]
The Pelosi endorsement comes as somewhat of a surprise because Jones has mostly sided with progressives in Democratic family feuds with establishment liberals since he won election two years ago in a Westchester County-based district.
Jones was effectively left without a political home when Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) decided to run in the rejiggered NY17 district that includes most of Jones’ old turf.
Pelosi backed Maloney’s decision, which effectively ousted Jones and outraged progressives. The move spurred state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi (D-Bronx) to launch her own challenge to Maloney, who leads the Democratic House campaign arm.