Dan Goldman wins hotly contested NY-10 primary

A look into how the former federal prosecutor’s policies on student loan debt, public safety and climate change may affect NYU students as he advances to the November congressional election.


Samson Tu

A polling site at 2 Washington Square Village during the Aug. 23 primary congressional election. (Samson Tu for WSN)

Lauren Ashe and Carmo Moniz

Former federal prosecutor Dan Goldman won yesterday’s Democratic primary congressional election in New York’s 10th District, which encompasses Greenwich Village, SoHo, the Financial District and parts of northern Brooklyn, making it home to NYU’s Washington Square campus.

The district is currently represented by Democrat Jerrold Nadler, who ran and won the Democratic primary election in the 12th District following a congressional redistricting in May. Goldman won 25.8% of the vote in a tight race against New York state Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou, who received 23.7% of the vote. Mondaire Jones, who currently represents the 17th District covering Rockland County and parts of northern and central Westchester County, trailed behind with 18.2% (Jones recently moved to Brooklyn). 

Dan Goldman, standing in a blue suit and tie for a headshot.
Dan Goldman, the Democratic candidate for New York’s 10th District. (Photo courtesy Dan Goldman for New York)

Goldman declared his victory on Tuesday at 10:30 p.m., a couple hours before the Associated Press called the race in his favor. Prior to his win, The New York Times had endorsed the former prosecutor, which could have swayed many voters days before the election.

Goldman has focused much of his campaign on preventing threats to democracy, including the erosion of voting rights and governmental abuse of power. He plans to focus on issues such as climate change and crime and policing, and also holds platforms on student debt forgiveness and LGBTQ+ rights. He was a former fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice — a nonprofit public policy institute within NYU Law.

“Tonight is not a victory for myself or any one person — it is a victory for all of us — all of us who will not let authoritarian forces undermine the foundation of our democracy and the rule of law,” Goldman said in his victory speech.

Higher education

During his campaign, Goldman maintained that student debt should only be canceled for those under the most financial stress — including those who have been defrauded by for-profit schools. He has also said that President Joe Biden most likely has the authority to address student loans, noting that student debt has had a disproportionate impact on people of color.

“I think the student debt problems in our country are significant,” Goldman told Intelligencer in an interview. “I am very opposed, in general, to for-profit education. I think the incentives are just completely wrong, and I think, to the extent that they are taking loans and putting debt on people, that has to be addressed.

Since NYU is a private, not-for-profit institution, students are less likely to benefit from Goldman’s more moderate higher education policies which focus on the debts of those who attended for-profit universities.

Policing and public safety

Goldman was previously a prosecutor for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York where he focused on cases involving Mafia leaders and white-collar crimes. He also handled cases which covered insider trading, gun trafficking and corporate fraud.

Goldman opposes defunding the police and has said he has a “zero tolerance policy” for hate crimes. He has also said that, if elected, he would attempt to add sentencing enhancements for any crimes for which a discriminatory motive is proved by prosecution.

He also supports limiting qualified immunity for police officers, investing in alternative forms of policing, increasing police accountability and passing more expansive federal gun control laws including a ban on assault rifles.

Climate change

New York City is facing many obstacles as a result of climate change, including rising sea levels, heavy rainfall and heat waves. Lower Manhattan, where NYU’s Washington Square campus and much of the 10th District is located, may become partially uninhabitable in the near future if New York does not shift quickly from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

Goldman is a supporter of the Green New Deal, which involves transitioning to renewable energy and offering incentives for private companies who invest in renewable energy, as he does not believe the government can reduce greenhouse gas emissions on its own. To accomplish this, he is planning to convince Republicans that it is in their best interest to pass and invest in climate policies. He also said threats against voting rights primarily hinders marginalized groups who have been disproportionately impacted by climate change.

Contact Lauren Ashe at [email protected] and Carmo Moniz at [email protected].