Jewish candidate who led Trump impeachment trial wins NY Dem. primary

Jewish lawyer Dan Goldman, lead consul in the 1st Trump impeachment trial and heir to the Levi Strauss fortune, beat anti-Israel candidate Yuh-Line Niou in the NY10th District Democratic primary.

 Daniel Goldman, majority counsel on House intelligence, testifies as the House Judiciary Committee receives presentations of evidence in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, during a hearing on Capitol Hill on December 9, 2019 (photo credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP/GETTY IMAGES/TNS)
Daniel Goldman, majority counsel on House intelligence, testifies as the House Judiciary Committee receives presentations of evidence in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, during a hearing on Capitol Hill on December 9, 2019
(photo credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP/GETTY IMAGES/TNS)

Yuh-Line Niou, a New York state assembly member of the 10th District who has been outspoken about her support for The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), was defeated in Tuesday's Democratic primary by attorney Dan Goldman and his $4 million self-funded race. 

The heir to Levi Strauss and Co. fortune, Goldman is set to be the first new member of Congress that most residents of the Manhattan and Brooklyn-based district have had in decades.  His victory comes after a tumultuous court-ordered redistricting process made way for a brand new district in the heart of New York City with no incumbent.

Jewish groups took to Twitter to congratulate Goldman, a former federal prosecutor who is new to politics, on his victory in defeating Niou in the heated battle for the newly redrawn 10th district. 

"We’re proud to have played a role in defeating Yuh-Line Niou – an anti-Israel candidate who endorses the BDS campaign against Israel – through our significant support of a local New York SuperPac," the United Democracy Project – AIPAC’s new super PAC wrote. 

New York state assembly member of the 10th District, Yuh-Line Niou. (credit: Wikimedia Commons)New York state assembly member of the 10th District, Yuh-Line Niou. (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

The 38-year-old assemblywoman, who was elected in 2016 to represent the 10th district of NYC (lower Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn), has previously been vocal about her stance on the BDS movement. However, last month was the first time she was candid about her position since she came into office.

“I believe in the right to protest as a fundamental tenet of Western democracy, so I do support BDS,” she said in an interview with Jewish Insider.

Niou is part of a small faction of House Democrats that support BDS – including "The Squad" composed of reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). 

"We’re proud to have played a role in defeating Yuh-Line Niou – an anti-Israel candidate who endorses the BDS campaign against Israel."

AIPAC

Days after her BDS comment, Niou sparked outrage when she posted a photo posing with a Challah, a bottle of Coca-Cola with Hebrew writing, and an Israeli soda stream. The nonprofit watchdog StopAntisemitism claimed she was pushed by Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour, known for spreading anti-Israel conspiracy theories. 

Who is Jewish Democrat nominee Dan Goldman?

Goldman, 46, rose to prominence leading the first Trump impeachment trial in 2019. He became the race's clear front-runner after The New York Times endorsed him earlier this month. He was labeled the most moderate in the crowded field of progressive candidates running to unseat Rep. Mondaire Jones.  

"My Jewish faith and values have inspired me to dedicate my career to public service."

Dan Goldman

The Jewish victor was heavily favored among Orthodox voters, who made up a significant part of the electorate in this race

“Dan is someone who appreciates the diversity of the city, and that includes the Orthodox Jewish community,”  Simcha Eichenstein, a Democratic assembly member in Borough Park who supported Goldman’s campaign, told Jewish Insider. “I look forward to working with him on the issues where we find common ground.”

Given the district's immense Democratic tilt, Goldman is all but certain to join Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) as the only two Jewish members of Congress from New York City, assuming both win the November general election and remain in Congress come January. Congressional stalwart Nadler is currently the only Jewish representation from NYC in the House, after he won the hostile incumbent vs. incumbent battle for NY-12 on Tuesday, defeating longtime colleague Carolyn Maloney, an election also chalked up to newly drawn maps. 

“My Jewish faith and values have inspired me to dedicate my career to public service," Goldman told Jewish Insider on Wednesday. "I look forward to joining Congressman Nadler in Congress to represent the Jewish community in the city and country." 

Sydney Maud contributed to this report.