Rye resident and current Westchester County Legislator Catherine Parker will challenge incumbent Congressman Jamaal Bowman in the upcoming Democratic primary in the newly drawn 16th Congressional District (NY-16).
Catherine Parker’s entire County Legislative District, which she has represented since 2014, is in the newly-drawn NY-16. Catherine was on the Rye City Council before the County Legislature and lives in Rye with her husband David and children Julia and Aiden.
Parker ran for Congress in the 17th Congressional District in the wake of Nita Lowey’s retirement. A crowded primary, that seat eventually went to Democratic Congressman Mondaire L. Jones.
“I went to bed on Friday night, thinking that Mondaire Jones, who also lives in this new [Congressional] map in district 16, [was going to run]. I spoken with him when the maps were first released, and he had every intention of being in a primary with Congressman Bowman. And I thought I’m on I’m on Team Jones.”
“When he announced on Saturday morning, that’s really what changed everything. Because when he announced that he was actually going to run in the CD 10 district, and my colleague [Westchester County Board of Legislators] Vedat Gashi no longer has a base of voters that live in the district, then I thought, this is more of a call of duty because ultimately, I have been disappointed by our current congressman and I know that I’m not alone.”
Confusing to the layperson, the New York Congressional maps have been part of an extensive gerrymandering fight. Until last Friday, Rye was set to become part of NY-03, a Congressional district that mostly encompassed Long Island as well as parts of Queens and the Bronx. Late Friday, a Judge tossed out the maps that had been forced by the State Democrats, and laid down the new maps, including NY-16. By Saturday, Congressman Jones had decided to run in NY-10, a new district in the City.
The new NY-16 spans Westchester County and has just under 800,000 people. It voted 72% for Biden and 28% for Trump*.
Parker highlights her record of fighting climate change and flood resilience projects. “I have always been passionate about our environment; it was one of my biggest motivators for getting into government. I ran for my local City Council to help make sure my kids had a safe environment to grow up in and got hooked on the opportunity for solutions on a more regional level in the County. Now, with so many critical issues of the environment, safety, health and affordability on the debate stage in Washington, I am eager to help move our federal government in the practical progressive direction needed to address these challenges,” Parker said.
She said Congressman Bowman’s work in his initial term has come up short. “The Congressman is an educator. He understands that the purpose of government is to do the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people but I believe he failed at that when he voted against funding a litany of projects that will make a difference in the not-so-distant future,” said Parker.
The Congressional primary vote is Tuesday, August 23rd.
*This statistic has been updated. It was incorrect as originally posted and we regret the error.