Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan

Michigan Gov. Whitmer’s Sister Drops Bid To Challenge Republican Congressman

Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan
Screenshot/Twitter/@GovWhitmer. By Arjun Singh

The sister of Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan has suspended her campaign for Congress against Republican Rep. Mike Lawler of New York’s 17th District, according to a statement she released on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Liz Whitmer Gereghty, the younger sister of the incumbent governor, announced in May that she would run in 2024’s election for the congressional district, which covers areas of Westchester and Rockland counties in the Hudson Valley. On Wednesday, Gereghty announced she was withdrawing from the race and endorsing former Democratic Rep. Mondaire Jones of New York, who previously represented the area and is running to retake the seat.

“When we started this journey, we had one goal: to ensure Hudson Valley was no longer represented by an anti-choice, shape-shifting extremist out of step with our values. That remains the most important goal. However, as of today, I will suspend my campaign for the seat,” Gereghty wrote. “In that spirit, I endorse Mondaire Jones’ campaign for Congress.”

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Since 2019, Gereghty has served as a trustee of the Katonah–Lewisboro School Board in Westchester County, according to the board’s website. She also ran a gift shop, “Pop Katonah” that sold goods with left-wing political themes, according to her social media pages.

Jones, Gereghty’s former primary opponent, was reportedly displaced from running for the seat in 2022, following a decision by the New York Court of Appeals to strike down New York’s proposed congressional maps due to partisan gerrymandering by the Democratic-led state legislature. Former Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney of New York, who was the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, used his seniority to claim the Democratic nomination in the district for himself, later losing to Lawler by less than 1% of the vote.

“What Sean Patrick Maloney did was bullshit. That should have been Mondaire’s seat,” said Democratic Rep. Jamaal Bowman of New York,  who represents an adjacent district, to Politico. “I didn’t even know [Whitmer’s] sister lived in the district…and I don’t know many people who know her,” he added upon Gereghty’s announcement that she was running.

While in Congress for one term, Jones was an unabashedly left-wing member, expressing support for defunding the police, a “Green New Deal” and a single-payer health care system, commonly known as “Medicare For All.

“Last night, Liz Whitmer Gereghty called to tell me she’s suspending her campaign. I thanked her for her contributions to our community,” Jones wrote on X. “I’m honored to have Liz’s endorsement and ready to work together to defeat Mike Lawler, who masquerades as a moderate on television but votes like an extreme MAGA Republican.”

New York’s 17th District, with its prior boundaries, was won by Joe Biden in the 2020 election by a large margin of 20.2% over then-President Donald Trump. It has notable residents such as former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton.

Lawler’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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