A former top staffer on Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang’s campaign formally announced that he is officially launching a bid to unseat House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY).
Jonathan Herzog, who served as Yang’s 2020 Iowa campaign coordinator, released a video on Monday in which he revealed that he is running to represent New York’s 10th Congressional District as a way to assist in the passage of the same universal basic income platform for which his former employer is advocating in his presidential race.
“We’re going through the greatest economic and technological shift in our history,” Herzog said. “We need to pass 21st century solutions to these 21st century problems now.”
“As your representative, my first priority will be to pass the Freedom Dividend, a universal basic income of $1,000 per month for every New Yorker and every American adult,” he continued. “[It would be] primarily paid for by the companies benefiting most from automation.”
The Freedom Dividend is a concept promoted by Yang in which every American over the age of 18 would receive an annual check of $12,000 to use as they see fit. The idea is that individuals would earn additional money as a way to guarantee that all Americans benefit from the technology that replaces workers.
Yang, a New York native, commended Herzog on his entrance into the congressional race.
“Congratulations Jonathan,” Yang tweeted. “Way to bring #HumanityFirst to NYC!”
Herzog will be challenging Nadler for the Manhattan-based congressional seat that he has held since he was first elected in 1992. However, Herzog stated that he is not running for the primary purpose of unseating the high-ranking Democrat, but solely as a way to advance his universal basic income proposal.
“Last year, I moved to Iowa to help build a grassroots presidential campaign,” Herzog said in the campaign video. “As the campaign took off, the question came up over and over and over again — how are we going to get this agenda through Congress?”
“This is my answer,” he continued. “So, join the movement and let’s fix this system together.”
Nadler is a “patriot and a great public servant,” Herzog further told The Hill.
The New York congressman is already facing a serious challenge from Lindsey Boylan, a former state economic development official and aide to Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo. Boylan revealed in July that her campaign raised more than $250,000 in the second quarter and outperformed fundraising expectations, according to the New York Daily News.
“Congressman Nadler is going to have to contend with a race,” Boylan said in July. “We are in it to win and we are putting together the building blocks to mount a very serious campaign.”
Amanda Frankel, a former Wall Street investment analyst also announced that she would be seeking the Democratic nomination to the district. The 2020 election could serve as the first legitimate threat to Nadler’s seat in decades.