The best candidate to replace her is Mondaire Jones, an official in the Department of Justice in the Obama administration and a former lawyer in the Westchester County Law Department.
For Mr. Jones, policy is personal. The child of a single mother who relied on food stamps and lived in Section 8 housing, he eventually graduated from Stanford University and Harvard Law School, and he supports universal child care and tuition-free college. Mr. Jones is a candidate who can finally bring representation to every part of this diverse district, which spans Rockland and Westchester Counties, and includes great wealth as well as pockets of deep poverty.
Evelyn Farkas, another candidate in the race, has significant support from the Democratic establishment, including former Secretary of State John Kerry, former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Representative Tom Malinowski and Emily’s List. A former deputy assistant secretary of defense specializing in Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia, Ms. Farkas helped create a strategy to protect Ukraine from Russian military intervention and was among the first to warn about Russian aid to Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.
Also among the leading candidates is State Senator David Carlucci, who is backed by powerful unions like Teamsters Local 445, a union that represents bus drivers, construction workers, warehouse workers and more. Mr. Carlucci promises to expand tenant protection and create mixed-use housing across the district. He was part of a breakaway group of Democrats in the New York Senate who worked with the Republicans who controlled the chamber at the time. Though he argues that his defection was meant to aid a district moving rapidly from rural to urban, Mr. Carlucci was also a great help to Republicans in blocking Democratic reforms.
Assemblyman David Buchwald, who represents part of the Congressional district, has strong local support and some credibility fighting corruption in Albany. His vote against a landmark housing bill last year that restored sorely needed protections for renters in New York City and elsewhere is, however, disqualifying.
Allison Fine, a former chair of NARAL-Pro-Choice America who calls herself an “unapologetic feminist,” argues that it’s time for someone “outside the system to bring in new ideas and energy.”
Asha Castleberry-Hernandez is a major in the Army Reserves, a former State Department adviser and a lecturer in foreign policy and global security. Though she is not our choice for this seat this year, Ms. Castleberry-Hernandez has the kind of talent that deserves to be encouraged.