Justice Democrats-endorsed New York candidate drops out of race due to redistricting

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A progressive Democrat backed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., has dropped out of her congressional race, blaming redistricting for denying communities of color an “opportunity for representation.”

Rana Abdelhamid, a Brooklyn-based Muslim activist who was backed by Justice Democrats and supports “Medicare-for-all” and the Green New Deal, announced Tuesday that she was formally withdrawing from the election “because my community and I were cut out of our district.” 

“The new NY-12, which was drawn through an undemocratic process, no longer includes Queens or Brooklyn,” Abdelhamid said in her announcement. “That means that in my home and my community, which includes, working class, Black and brown, Muslim and Arab communities of interest in Queens, were all divided into two districts, NY-7 and NY-14, diluting our opportunity for representation and political power.”

Rana Abdelhamid, from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), protests President Donald Trump’s executive order travel ban in Boston, Massachusetts, Jan. 29, 2017.
(Reuters/Brian Snyder)

The recently-approved congressional maps have caused chaos for New York Democrats, pitting some incumbents against each other in multiple races. For Abdelhamid, the redrawn maps are evidence of moderate Democrats maintaining their power by excluding minority voters.  


“From the very beginning, Carolyn Maloney [D-N.Y.] fought to remove the Queens and Brooklyn-based communities of color from her district,” Abdelhamid said. “Now, she got exactly what she wanted: a fully Manhattan district and my community got kicked out the door. These maps are reminiscent of an ongoing legacy of noninclusive gerrymandering, which continues to rob communities of interest like my own of opportunity for representation.”

Rana Abdelhamid, a youth activist with Amnesty International, speaks at a rally held by the group on Feb. 12, 2011, in New York.

Rana Abdelhamid, a youth activist with Amnesty International, speaks at a rally held by the group on Feb. 12, 2011, in New York.
(Stan Honda/AFP via Getty Images)

Abdelhamid said that despite the setback, she would continue to build on her campaign’s success in organizing voters to prepare for another opportunity to represent the increasingly left-leaning neighborhoods in New York. She said her campaign’s success was beyond anyone’s expectations.

“The relationships and infrastructure we’ve built through this campaign is powerful – and we’re not stopping here. While the historic communities of interest in Queens become divided with these new maps, I still feel that our power comes from people coming together across our beautiful differences for a vision of justice and shared prosperity. When the opportunity presents itself we will be more ready than ever to achieve the electoral representation we deserve, because we’ll have this infrastructure and power behind us,” she said.


Abdelhamid’s campaign did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment. 

Under the new map, both Maloney and Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., are expected to run against each other. 

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