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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 in 2012 from NYU 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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I have seen Mary Jobaida on few events she is very active in the community. I will vote for her .unlike nolan never seen her in any community gathering.

Vote Republican

**yawn** why would anyone even care about democrats? Republicans gave is the strongest economy in 50 years with record low unemployment. With the largest chunk going to low wage factory workers.

Old older Democratic party used to care about blue collar workers. No kore.

Agreed, we can thank Obama again

Yeah, Obama did a great job lowering unemployment.

December 2010: 9.3%, decreased 0.6%
December 2011: 8.5%, decreased 0.8%
December 2012: 7.9%, decreased 0.6%
December 2013: 6.7%, decreased 1.2%
December 2014: 5.6%, decreased 1.1%
December 2015: 5.0%, decreased 0.6%
December 2016: 4.7%, decreased 0.3%

Trump’s been riding that wave

December 2017: 4.1%, decreased 0.6%
September 2018: 3.7%, decreased 0.4%

Just like Obamacare, Trump is just using Obama’s ideas again. Same with the GDP which recovered under Obama despite the recession.


Oh, please, you two can’t be suggesting that the recent low unemployment numbers mean anything? We still have near record lows in the labor participation rate, which is lower now than it was before the Great Recession. Add record student debt, explosion in the number of crappy low-wage part-time jobs with no benefits, rising health costs, and flat wages for many workers, and you can an all-round stinko of an Obama-Trump economy.


Mary Jobaida is responsible, honest, trustworthy and very hard working person.
Marry is compassionate,humble,respectful and most of all trustworthy.
I do stand by her !
——Taser Mahmud
Staff correspondent,The daily New Nation.


If someone has spent practically their entire working life in office, including many years unopposed, they are the textbook definition of career politician.


Times change, we need change. Nolan can do something else for the community. Blind loyalty leads to blind politics.

Caucasian Rascal

Clearly, you haven’t the foggiest clue as to the nature of the Queens County electorate.


35 years. Nolan is way, WAY past her sell-by date and has wallowed in the Queens political swamp for far too long. It’s time for new blood and a fresh perspective in the neighborhood.

Chase Muratore

Mary hosted an interfaith community event to remember those who lost their lives in the recent easter bombings and synagogue attack. Mary is an active peace maker, seeking unity over uniformity, and prioritizes action above rhetoric.

Shamsul Haque

Mary Jobaida is a patriotic American and a community leader. She is an honest and authentic person who deeply cares about community issues. It is time to elect someone who can fight for us in Albany.

Gardens Watcher

Cathy Nolan is all that and more, and 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

Im no big fan of Nolan but would vote for her over this Lefty anyday

LIC Direct

Are you really THAT progressive? How do you feel about same sex marriage? It it Haram in your view? Can you answer that question Jobaida? This is what they will throw your way and many other things, they will try to destroy you if you stand by your convictions and beliefs. Stand tall, stand true to your beliefs and faith and don’t give in.


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