John Avlon, CNN Commentator, Enters Race for Long Island Swing Seat

John Avlon, a Democrat and former CNN political analyst, announced on Wednesday that he would enter a crowded congressional primary to try to flip a Republican-held swing seat on Long Island.

A moderate who once worked for Rudolph W. Giuliani and helped found the centrist political group No Labels, Mr. Avlon emerged in recent years as a piercing critic of former President Donald J. Trump and the Republican Party he has refashioned in his image.

In an interview, Mr. Avlon, 51, said he felt compelled to step from journalism into the political fray to help “break this fever” and oust “MAGA minions who are not even trying to solve problems in the national interest.”

“The seriousness of the times really sunk into me,” he said.

Winning the Suffolk County district will be no easy task for a Democrat. It is currently held by Representative Nick LaLota, a first-term Republican. Though President Biden won the district by 0.2 percentage points in 2020, Mr. LaLota sailed to an 11-point victory two years later.

Democrats in Washington do not currently consider the district a top-tier target on par with more favorable suburban swing seats elsewhere in New York. But that could still change, as Democrats in Albany weigh whether to use a rare mid-decade court-ordered redistricting process to draw a more favorable congressional map.

And on Long Island, Democrats got a shot of optimism last week when Tom Suozzi won a special election, flipping a neighboring Queens and Nassau County seat that had been held by a Republican, George Santos.

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