New York Democrats in chaos with progressive left calling state party nearly as undemocratic as ‘North Korea’

Some members of the New York Democratic Party are calling for new state leadership going into the next election cycle after the party underperformed in 2022 midterm elections.

Progressive New York Democrats have had enough of party leadership and are demanding the removal of the party chief and reforms to the entire apparatus after a disastrous 2022 midterm cycle for the state.

Four U.S. House seats in New York flipped from Democratic control in the 2022 midterms, greatly contributing to Republicans retaking the majority. But progressive activists see the problems as far deeper than one election.

“First of all, they have to run the party democratically,” George Albro, co-chair of Brooklyn Progressive Action Network, said in an interview with Fox News Digital. “The Democratic Party has to become democratic. Right now, it vies with North Korea in their degree of democracy.”

Much of the ire is directed at state party Chairman Jay Jacobs, who has faced numerous calls to step down as party leader since November. 


Jacobs has a history of separating himself from the far left, particularly those aligned with Democratic Socialists of America, but more moderate Democrats are joining calls for his ouster, according to Albro.

Albro’s Progressive Action Network originated in support of democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaigns and has grown into a nationwide grassroots organization.

More than 1,000 state Democrats, including dozens of elected state officials, signed a letter in November saying Jacobs, whom they see as indelibly linked to disgraced former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, has to go.

“Here in New York, however, the State Democratic Party, led by Cuomo appointee Jay Jacobs, failed to commit the time, energy and resources necessary to maintain our deep-blue status: 4 Congressional seats flipped to Republican control, and Governor Hochul won by a slim majority — the smallest in two decades,” the letter states. “The writing is on the wall and has been for some time: Jay Jacobs is not fit to serve as Chair of the State Democratic Party.”

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In a dig at Jacobs’ party operation, the Brooklyn-based Independent Neighborhood Democrats pointed out that the left-wing “Working Families Party seemed to have been the only party putting organizers in the field to support Democratic Party candidates.” 

In a resolution calling for him to resign or be removed as party chair, the group also blamed Jacobs for losing three Democratic-held state Senate seats in his home county of Nassau, where he also serves as the county Democratic Party chairman.

Jacobs, who did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment, has been open about his disagreements with the left wing of the Democratic Party and placed some of the blame for midterm losses on progressives.

“New York did underperform, but so did California,” Jacobs told City & State last year. “What do those two states have in common? Well, governmentally, we’re among the two most progressive states in the country.”

Jacobs vowed to never endorse a socialist Democratic candidate because he doesn’t agree with what they stand for. 

“I will never endorse a DSA candidate running for office. I know what they stand for, and I totally disagree with many of those things. I’m not comfortable endorsing someone running on that platform, and I won’t do it as an individual and I won’t do it as a party chair,” Jacobs told Crain’s New York Business last week. 

“I don’t hold any animus. I don’t believe anything other than they have every right and even obligation to represent their views as best as they can. I just wish there wasn’t so much rancor.”

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In a 10-page report detailing why he believes Democrats lost seats in the midterms, Jacobs pointed out that the Republican Party’s emphasis on crime in the midterms was a winning message.

“NY was one of the only states where Republicans, though unfairly, could point to a specific action taken by Democrats (“Cashless Bail”) as the reason for the spike in crime. Unfair and untrue as it may be, in New York, Republicans were able to successfully weaponize Bail Reform to a degree unmatched anywhere else,” Jacobs wrote In a 10-page report detailing why he believes Democrats lost seats in the midterms. 

Albro views the insinuation that progressive policies cost Democrats at the ballot box as only part of the story. The issue was a “red herring” in the election, he said, since “crime is on the increase throughout the entire country, not just in New York.”


“The Democrats completely mishandled that issue [of crime]. They either tacitly agreed with it or didn’t respond to it,” Albro said, adding that he views Republicans as promoters of crime because of their stances on firearms and the Jan. 6, 2021, storming of the U.S. Capitol.

Chief among Albro’s complaints about his party’s operations is a proxy system that has rankled New York Democrats for years. In 2018, the system allowed a Brooklyn County party official to overrule a record number of meeting attendees over multiple votes because he held more proxy votes than the record number of Democrats who showed up to a meeting, The New York Times reported that year.

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New York Gov. Kathy Hochul backed Jacobs as calls for his resignation mounted after the midterm elections.

“I think he [Jacobs] did a great job as chair, and he continues as chair. We’re not changing anything,” Hochul said.

Though Albro called on Hochul, as the top Democrat, to come out against Jacobs, he said changing the leadership of the party alone won’t be enough.

“That’s necessary, but not sufficient. It has to be part of a reform movement that reforms the party, democratizes it, and gets young people involved,” Albro said.

At a state party meeting later this year, Albro said he expects “there’s going to be a movement to elect (someone) else.” 

“I’m not sure who that person is yet,” he added.

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