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Assembly Member Catherine Nolan Faces Challenger in 2020 Primary

Mary Jobaida will run in the 2020 State Assembly Democratic primary. (Mary Jobaida)

May 1, 2019 By Laura Hanrahan

Long-serving Assembly Member Catherine Nolan will face her first Democratic primary challenge in more than a decade if she runs for office again next year.

Mary Jobaida, a Bangladeshi-American and progressive Democrat, threw her hat in the ring earlier this week, hoping to represent District 37, which covers Sunnyside, Long Island City, Ridgewood and parts of Astoria.

Nolan, who has served as the district’s assembly member for 35 years, has not faced a democratic primary opponent in more than 10 years, and often runs unopposed in the general election.

“As a mother of three who has been raising a family in this district for over 15 years, not once have I seen a true, democratic process when I’ve gone to vote for a state assembly member from my party,” Jobaida said. “For all that our country does to serve as a beacon of democracy around the world, having only one name to choose from on a local ballot is not what true democracy looks like.”

Nolan has yet to officially announce her bid for reelection next year, and did not respond to requests for comment.

Nolan was appointed as Deputy Speaker late last year, and previously served as Chair of the Assembly Education Committee, leading efforts to reduce class sizes and improve high school graduation rates. She was recently an ardent supporter of the proposed Amazon HQ2 office coming to Long Island City.

Jobaida, a Long Island City resident, currently works as an outreach specialist for Urban Health Plan, Inc., a Bronx-based medical practice. She graduated from NYU in 2012 with a major in Media and Communications, after first attending LaGuardia Community College for three semesters.

Assemb. Catherine Nolan at the announcement of the Amazon deal on Nov. 13, 2018

Jobaida, if elected, plans to fight for universal healthcare, public financing for state elections, eliminating partisan gerrymandering, and combating the heavy influence of the real estate and fossil fuel industries.

In a move that would directly affect politicians like Nolan, Jobaida is also advocating for term limits for state assembly members.

“If I win, I will push to place term limits on my very own tenure, because no one should hold a single seat in office for more than a decade,” Jobaida said.

Also part of her platform is addressing the city’s increasing wealth gap and homeless population.

While running her campaign, Jobaida said she pledges to refuse or return all donations from real estate developers, corporate PACs and lobbyists.

The primary is scheduled to take place in June 2020.

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LIC Direct

To Mary Jobaida: Nolan needs to be challenged, She against Charter Schools. She’s in the pocket of the Teacher’s Union. Her campaign will bait and ask where you stand on Same Sex Marriages? This is what they do and they will try to label you as anti-this and anti-that and discredit you. What you cannot do is compromise your beliefs, like the rest of these corrupt so called money grubbing progressive politicians. Stand strong.


I was heartened by all the upvotes yesterday. The blustering right wingers must have all been glued to Faux News. They’re baaack. X(

Wait, the the article mention AOC?

Because…she’s a democrat?

If you think you need political experience to hold office, you forgot who’s president.

Gardens Watcher

Cathy Nolan has served our community very well, plus she has major seniority as Deputy Speaker. That is a plus for our district. She had the good sense to be in favor of the Amazon deal. She deserves another term if she wants it.

Old as Dirt

No real use for Nolan..but I wont vote for this one either..hopefully there will be some Rep or Consv running as wll

Thomas Paine

“For all that our country does to serve as a beacon of democracy around the world, having only one name to choose from on a local ballot is not what true democracy looks like.”

Do they teach civics anywhere? We don’t live in a true democracy, we live in a democratic republic. True democracy is mob rule. Thank God we don’t have that!

Welcome to the party pal!

About time certain groups realized that they don’t need old white people to give them free stuff, they can vote one of their own in to give them free stuff.


Goodness knows we’re not getting anything but moral bankruptcy from the GOP.

words are hard for Trumptards

I guess if you had no idea what Socialism is you’d be gullible enough to believe that?

Oh, Lily

Wow! Watch the two of them out progressive each other. Nolan is terrible but how well would this woman represent a “diverse” neighborhood? Is Nolan capable of holding a job in the private sector? I wonder how Mary Jobaida feels about “gay marriage” and abortion on demand, the two litmus tests for the Dems. Any of the Republicans who had run against Nolan in the past would have brought common sense to our area. I’m sure Nolan will drag herself to “events” to be seen now. Her office, by the way, is in Long Island City. Follow the money.

really another one

Wonderful- another up and coming socialist. She works for “Urban Health Plan, Inc” which are federal supported clinics but she wants to combat all private industries that actually contribute to the coffers. Who do they think pays for all of those federal programs that they all work for

really another one

But the employ over half a million people that do pay federal taxes. I will keep it simple for you. Private industry pays tax to the government. Socialist suck off that revenue and don’t contribute..are you getting it now?


Nolan is a waste of time and space. An ice cube would make a better State Assembly rep. I don’t know Mary Jobaida but I’m voting for her for sure.

Gardens Watcher

Another dirty bomb comment from the left flank of the party, TimesUp.

El loco

What will poor Cathy do if thrown out of office. She has no other skills.


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