- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 20, 2022

New York Assemblyman Mike Lawler’s bid to join Congress by taking down the head of the House Democrats’ campaign organization has gotten a nod from Republican leaders.

National Republican Congressional Committee recently announced that Mr. Lawler was added to their “On the Radar” slate of candidates, the first rung of the GOP’s Young Guns fundraising program.

The Young Guns program, which is spearheaded by House Minority Kevin McCarthy of California, gives up-and-coming Republican candidates with a proven ability to raise money access to a national fundraising apparatus and direct fundraising support from Mr. McCarthy to further boost their campaigns.

“There’s a record-breaking class of Republican House candidates running this fall because Americans are fed up with Democrats’ agenda that has led to 40-year high inflation, sky-high gas prices, a crisis at our southern border, and rampant violent crime,” Mr. McCarthy said in announcing the new additions to the program. “Democrats have failed the American people and done nothing but create crisis after crisis.”

Mr. Lawler was among 14 new “On the Radar” candidates in the Young Guns program.

His fundraising prowess got the attention of GOP leaders as he maneuvered for the party’s nomination to take on Democrat Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney in a congressional district in the Lower Hudson Valley.

Mr. Maloney is also chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He is facing a somewhat more difficult run as he seeks a sixth term after this year’s redistricting in New York.

Mr. Lawler is the front-runner in the primary race and has outraised his four Republican opponents, according to federal campaign finance reports.

He raised more than $350,000 and has just over $334,000 cash on hand. His closest rival, Jack Schrepel, raised $10,000 and has just over $2,000 cash on hand. The three other GOP candidates, Shoshana David, William Faulkner and Charles Falciglia, were not listed in filings with the Federal Election Commission. 

The primaries are on Aug. 23.

Like Republicans across the country, Mr. Lawler is running on economic issues.

“That’s impacted people within this district quite a bit,” he told The Washington Times. “And then you add in the higher cost of lending, and the higher cost of goods, and what is going on with respect to gas prices and people are frustrated.”

After the map was redrawn, Mr. Maloney left his old and now less safe 18th Congressional District to run in the 17th District, where his Putnam County residence is located.

He has the support of Democratic county chairs in Rockland, Putnam and Westchester. He has raised more money than his primary opponent state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi and has 10 times more cash on hand than her since the last filing.

The Cook Political Report cautions that while Mr. Maloney is now running in a safer district, the district is still only rated as a D+3 in a year where House Republicans are poised to recapture the lower chamber.

• Kerry Picket can be reached at kpicket@washingtontimes.com.

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