July 7, 2021 By Ryan Songalia
A Long Island City woman who ran for a state assembly seat last year will give it another shot in 2022.
Mary Jobaida, who came up short in her primary challenge of long-time District 37 Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan in 2020, announced on July 1 that she will once again campaign for the seat.
The progressive candidate is running on a platform that includes ending cash bail, decriminalizing sex work, creating a universal single payer healthcare system, and passing term limits for state legislators.
In the June 2020 primary, Jobaida received 36.7 percent of the vote, behind Nolan with 47.7 percent. A third candidate, Danielle Brecker, generated 15.3 percent of the vote.
This time, Jobaida, 41, may not have an incumbent to challenge for the seat that covers the neighborhoods of Sunnyside, Ridgewood, Long Island City, Queensbridge, Ravenswood, Woodside, Maspeth, Dutch Kills, Blissville and parts of Astoria.
Well-placed sources say that Nolan, who was first elected to the seat in 1984, will not seek another term. The 63-year-old Nolan disclosed this past February that she was recovering from cancer surgery.
No other candidates have announced they plan to run. It is not yet known whether Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, who had a strong showing in western Queens in his unsuccessful bid for Queens Borough President, will run.
Jobaida, a mother of three, grew up in a rural village in Bangladesh and moved to New York in 2001.
The self-described “lifelong activist” says her experience working in close proximity with underserved populations has been influential to her platform positions.
Since October 2020, she has worked as a constituent services representative in the office of State Senator Jessica Ramos.
Her other work history includes teaching English at the New York Public Library and working as an outreach specialist at the not-for-profit Urban Health Plan network. She was also the founding program manager at Time Television, the first Bangladeshi HD television channel in New York City.
She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Media, Culture and Communications from New York University in 2012.
Jobaida has aligned herself with other candidates on the progressive left, doing joint canvassing work with the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign in 2020, and volunteering with Tiffany Cabán’s campaigns for city council and Queens District Attorney.
If elected, Jobaida would become the third South Asian American to be elected to the Assembly, following Zohran Mamdani and Jenifer Rajkumar in 2020.