- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 19, 2022

Two veteran New York City Democratic lawmakers drawn into the same congressional district in a proposed map say they are ready to take down the other one for the new seat.

“I live in the 12th (District). Now I’m going to run in the 12th. It’s 61% Maloney and 39% Nadler. The tip is his district that goes into Borough Park in Brooklyn, an area that he’s represented for 30 years,” Rep. Carolyn Maloney told The Washington Times. “And I live in the 12th, so he announced he’s running against me in my district, So I’m all in.”

Mrs. Maloney has been challenged by progressive candidates who say she is out of touch with her constituents. She came closest to losing her seat last cycle when she faced off against three primary opponents, and she picked up just 43% of the vote.

Rep. Jerry Nadler and Mrs. Maloney have known each other for decades and have been involved in city politics for about half a century. Each was elected to Congress in 1992 and currently hold gavels on the House Judiciary Committee and Oversight Committee.

However, Mr. Nadler told The Times their friendship and work relationship will not get in the way of duking it out in a primary campaign.  

“It’s painful because I’ve known Carolyn for 50 years,” Mr. Nadler said. “Well, I’m gonna run, and I’m gonna win,” adding that he believes he’s more connected with the constituents in the newly drawn east-west proposed Manhattan district.

Mr. Nadler disputed Mrs. Maloney’s contention that the newly drawn 12th district from a court-appointed special master is 61% originally from her district.

“That’s not correct. It’s about half and half,” he told The Times.

The congressional New York map proposed by a court-appointed special master has many Democrats crying foul after a preliminary draft was released on Monday.

Special master Jonathan Cervas’ map drew five pairs of congressional incumbents into the same district. The finalized map is expected to be released on Friday.

Following the release of the proposed map, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Sean Patrick Maloney (no relation to Rep. Carolyn Maloney), whose residence is in the 17th District of New York, but represents the 18th District, announced he would run for re-election in the 17th District, where fellow Democrat Rep. Mondaire Jones represents the majority of the district’s population. However, Mr. Jones lives in the nearby 16th District.

The move could push Mr. Jones into a primary against fellow Black progressive, Rep. Jamaal Bowman, who represents and lives in the 16th.

Mr. Jones made it known that he was irritated with Mr. Maloney over this announcement on Twitter, but has not revealed if he will run against Mr. Bowman or Mr. Maloney.

Mr. Nadler, who is likely seeking support from progressives for his primary against Mrs. Maloney, said he was “uneasy about” the DCCC chair announcing that he planned to run in the district held by Mr. Jones.

“I’m very disturbed about the situation with him and Mondaire,” he said.

The negative reaction from a growing number of progressives toward Mr. Maloney was swift. A rank-and-file Democrat accused the DCCC Chair of racism after reports came out that allies of Mr. Maloney were saying that Mr. Jones was not ideologically paired up to his newly drawn district.

“The thinly-veiled racism here is profoundly disappointing,” tweeted Rep. Ritchie Torres, New York Democrat, and a gay man of color like Mr. Jones. Mr. Maloney is also a gay man.

He continued, “Maloney should run in NY-18, which he mostly represents. Jones in NY-17, which he mostly represents Bowman in NY-16, which he mostly represents.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told reporters Thursday, “I don’t think he should be DCCC chair if he’s going to challenge another member. It’s completely inappropriate.” 

Mr. Maloney, however, received support from House Democratic leadership despite the electoral troubles he is facing in New York.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at her weekly press conference told reporters on her way out, “We are very proud of Sean Patrick Maloney,” and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told the Times he had confidence in him to continue leading the DCCC through the midterms.

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

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