Ex-CNN anchor wins NY Dem primary to challenge Biden-district Republican Nick LaLota

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Ex-CNN anchor wins NY Dem primary to challenge Biden-district Republican Nick LaLota

A former CNN anchor has won his Democratic primary in New York’s 1st congressional district, setting up what’s expected to be a high-profile fight against Rep. Nick LaLota, R-N.Y., in November.

John Avlon, who was also once a speechwriter for former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a Republican, was up against former Stony Brook University professor Nancy Goroff. Goroff ran and lost in the district in 2020.

WATCH: THIS HOUSE PRIMARY IS THE MOST EXPENSIVE IN CONGRESSIONAL HISTORY

Rep. Nick Lalota leaves a meeting of the House Republican Conference in the U.S. Capitol to discuss an impeachment inquiry of President Joe Biden on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023. (Getty Images)

Avlon was endorsed by Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, along with his fellow New York Democratic Reps. Dan Goldman and Tom Suozzi.

“We need to build the broadest possible coalition to defeat Donald Trump, defend democracy and win back the House from his extreme MAGA minions,” Avlon’s website states.

WATCH: THIS HOUSE PRIMARY IS THE MOST EXPENSIVE IN CONGRESSIONAL HISTORY

Nick LaLota

Rep. Nick Lalota leaves a meeting of the House Republican Conference in the U.S. Capitol to discuss an impeachment inquiry of President Joe Biden on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023. (Getty Images)

While the seat is modestly safer than other Republican seats within the New York City metro area, it’s likely to still be critical in deciding which party holds the House of Representatives next year.

LaLota is one of 17 Republicans representing a district that President Biden won in 2020.

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John Avlon Nancy Goroff

John Avlon and Nancy Goroff faced off in the Democratic primary in New York’s 1st congressional district. (Getty Images)

The first-term lawmaker won the seat after his predecessor, former Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., retired to run for New York governor. Zeldin flipped the seat for Republicans when he beat incumbent Rep. Tim Bishop, D-N.Y., in 2014.

Like Zeldin, LaLota has also aligned himself with Trump, becoming one of the first swing seat Republicans to endorse the former president for reelection. 

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Lee Zeldin speaks at CPAC

The seat was held by former Rep. Lee Zeldin (Getty Images)

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Trump has endorsed LaLota as well, writing on Truth Social earlier this month, “Nick is fighting hard to Grow the Economy and Lower Inflation, Defend our Great Military and Police, Secure our Border, Uphold the Rule of Law, and Protect our Constitutional Rights. Nick LaLota has my Complete and Total Endorsement!”

LaLota is a Navy veteran and member of the Armed Services, Homeland Security, and Small Business committees.

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