Former CNN Host Wins Congressional Primary Election


A former CNN anchor and political commentator swept the Democratic primary in New York’s 1st congressional district on Tuesday.

Voters in Long Island selected John Avlon as their preference to face Congressman Nick LaLota (R-NY) in a reliably red district, though Avlon’s connections to the world of mainstream media may be an additional benefit in his general election campaign. Avlon, 51, carried more than 70% of the vote against two rivals with more than 90% of votes tallied, reported New York’s NBC affiliate.

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“A huge night and a massive victory in the #NY01 primary – 70-30 – thank you to every member of our team who helped make this happen. We proved the positive defeats negative & the politics of addition defeats the politics of division. That will be the key to victory in the fall – LFG!” he wrote on X.

The former reporter announced his departure from the network in February after more than 14 years in front of the camera or in a production capacity, according to the Daily Caller. In remarks following his victory, Avlon promised to build a “broad coalition” of anti-Trump voters as he heads toward November.

“Now, from the beginning of our campaign just 125 days ago, I was clear on our goals and vision for winning. I said that we would build a broad and patriotic coalition to defend American democracy by defeating Donald Trump and winning back the House,” Avlon said during his victory speech, the Caller reported.

“We know that action is the best antidote to anxiety, right? And we in Long Island County are lucky to live in a swing district – most Americans don’t,” he continued. “That’s what’s led to this poisonous partisanship we’re all so frustrated about. But here, we can do something about it.”


The outlet added that Avlon grounded his campaign with a promise to “defeat Donald Trump” and defend democracy, one that may be hard to defend now that swing state voters trust Trump over President Joe Biden when asked who would be a better protector of democracy, the Washington Post reported. The anchor’s case for winning may be stronger if he were running against a hard-right Republican; however, Rep. LaLota has shied away from the spotlight, focusing on the block-and-tackle of representing his district. He has spoken in defense of Trump, notably calling on New York’s Democratic governor to pardon him, but doesn’t go out of his way to raise his national profile. He safely defeated his Democratic rival in 2022, a Fox affiliate previously reported.

In sharp contrast, LaLota’s fame-seeking Democratic colleague Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) was resoundingly defeated in Tuesday’s Democratic primary as voters bucked the “Squad” member in favor of a pro-Israel moderate Democrat from Westchester County. Observers on the ground pointed not only to Bowman’s anti-Israel statements, pulling a fire alarm, and courting of 9/11 conspiracy theories, but also his basic lack to strong relationships in the district. On the Republican side, conservative star Lauren Boebert (R-CO) handily won a crowded primary after leaving her swing-state district to seek reelection in the state’s safely conservative 4th district.

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