Max Rose, the gay Democrat who received national attention after his opponent, Elissa Slotkin, was removed from the ballot due to her qualifications, will seek to run again in Congress, but he would have to face the incumbent, Rep. Dan Donovan, for the seat, he announced on Friday.
In an interview with The New York Times, Mr. Rose said he hoped to run as an independent.
“I don’t want anyone to control my agenda,” he said. “There are enough constraints on the Democratic Party now. It is urgent to counter Republican extremism and create space for more progressive Democrats to take their rightful place in Washington. We cannot afford to let another liberal community be bullied by Republican consultants to stay out of races.”
The district includes parts of Staten Island and Brooklyn, the boroughs that surround Mr. Rose’s home in upper Manhattan. Representative Donovan, a Republican, has represented the district since 2011. He won re-election in 2016.
Mr. Rose has not officially entered the race, but so far he has collected at least $2.1 million, though he said he is raising more. (Ms. Slotkin had raised $610,370.) And his spokeswoman told The Times that she expects Mr. Rose to raise $4 million before the November 2020 election.
Here’s what The Times wrote about Mr. Rose after his win:
His simple biography speaks volumes about his hopeful, unabashed support for LGBT rights. His parents, he explained, brought him up in the gay community, where he had “tolerance” for his sexual orientation, but not a “gay-gay” acceptance. And when he entered high school in Manhattan, he was mortified when a homophobic gay friend discovered his interest in boys. “He said, ‘You are gay?’ I was terrified. And then he said, ‘But you know?’ I was devastated,” Mr. Rose said. “We’ve made great strides. And we continue to work towards that. But it’s a work in progress, and I’m so proud to be a part of it.”
In the interview with The Times, Mr. Rose said he did not think his message resonated with most voters.
“There is a lot of middle America that has real working-class challenges. My message of opportunity and empathy doesn’t square with them,” he said. “I think people in some parts of the country and rural parts of the country are so surprised by what the Democratic Party stands for. And I think that has gotten in the way of our messaging.”