Ex-CNN Anchor John Avlon Announces Congressional Run

“Democrats can’t afford to lose this fight,” he said.

Former CNN political analyst and anchor John Avlon announced on Wednesday that he is running for Congress in New York’s First Congressional District after departing the network earlier this month.

In a video posted on social media declaring his candidacy, Avlon sounded the alarm on the state of the U.S. democracy.

“Right now, our democracy’s in danger,” he said. “This election is not a drill. It’s up to all of us to step up and get off the sidelines.”

Avlon added that “Democrats can’t afford to lose this fight” and need to unite to fight back against Trump and his supporters on Capitol Hill.

“There’s just too much at stake for the country and the community that I love,” Avlon said. “We need to build the broadest possible coalition to defeat Donald Trump, defend our democracy, and win back the House from his MAGA minions who don’t even seem interested in solving problems anymore. Together, we can flip this seat.”

Avlon is seeking to unseat freshman Republican incumbent Rep. Nick LaLota who won the 2022 election by 11 percentage points. LaLota has already endorsed Donald Trump in the 2024 presidential race.

LaLota’s seat was previously held by former Rep. Lee Zeldin (R).

Avlon joins a crowded Democratic primary where six candidates have already joined the race in the swing district, including Craig Herskowitz, a New York City administrative law judge who served as assistant counsel to former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, former state Sen. Jim Gaughran, and chemist Nancy Goroff, who lost to Zeldin in 2020.

Avlon has been getting advice from months from former Rep. Steve Israel (D) who retired in 2017, according to Politico Playbook.

Avlon left CNN on Feb. 8 but did not disclose his plans to run for office at the time despite reporting of his intention do so by Puck.

He previously served as the editor-in-chief of The Daily Beast from 2013 to 2018.

Early in his career, Avlon was the chief speechwriter of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. He is also a co-founder of the No Labels centrist political movement.

Avlon is married to conservative commentator Margaret Hoover, who hosts the “Firing Line” on PBS. The couple has two children.

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