The chairman of the New York state Democratic Party, Jay Jacobs, will endorse former CNN political analyst John Avlon in the Democratic primary in New York’s 1st Congressional District, NY1 has learned. 

Jacobs, who also chairs the Nassau County Democratic Committee, will back Avlon in his personal capacity. 

In a statement provided first to NY1, Jacobs praised Avlon’s “unique background and career experience,” saying he is the “best candidate” to take on freshman Republican Congressman Nick LaLota this fall. 

What You Need To Know

  • Jay Jacobs, the chairman of the New York state Democratic Party, is endorsing John Avlon in his personal capacity

  • Avlon is running for the Democratic nomination in the state's 1st Congressional District, which Democrats are eying as a potential pickup opportunity as they look to win back control of the U.S. House. It is currently represented by Republican Rep. Nick LaLota

  • Avlon is facing off against Nancy Goroff, who previously served as the Democratic nominee in the 1st district in 2020. She recently won the endorsement of EMILYs List

“Not only will John unseat someone who consistently votes against the interests of his own district, but he will work with President Biden to continue enacting meaningful, bi-partisan legislation that will improve the lives of working families here on Long Island,” Jacobs said.

Avlon, who also worked as the editor of The Daily Beast and as a speech writer for then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani, is facing off against Nancy Goroff for the party’s nomination. Goroff, who taught chemistry at Stony Brook University, was the Democrats’ nominee in 2020, losing to incumbent Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin.

The 1st Congressional District, which includes much of Suffolk County, including Long Island’s East End, is a seat Democrats are eying as a potential pickup as they look to win back control of the U.S. House of Representatives. 

The newly redrawn district backed Donald Trump over Joe Biden by about 1.8 percentage points in 2020.

In a statement, Avlon thanked Jacobs for his endorsement, saying, “We have incredible momentum in this race … We are building a big, diverse coalition to take this seat back so that we can protect a woman's right to choose, defend democracy and rebuild the middle class.”

In recent weeks, Avlon has also won the backing of state Assemblymembers Steve Stern and Fred Thiele, Jr., as well as Bridget Fleming, who was the Democratic nominee in the district two years ago.

Goroff, who in a previous interview stressed that the 1st Congressional District is her “home” where she raised her kids and built her career, has been endorsed by Brookhaven Town Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich as well as several Democratic candidates for the council. She has also received the backing of EMILYs List, which works to elect Democratic women.

The winner of the primary will take on LaLota and - provided he qualifies for the ballot - indicted former Congressman George Santos, who has announced an independent bid for the seat.