- The Washington Times - Monday, May 23, 2022

The primary race between two longtime Democratic House lawmakers forced into the same district in Manhattan is getting ugly — fast.

Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Jerrold Nadler, colleagues for decades, are taking swipes at each other in the wake of the new congressional map being released by a special master. 

“Too often qualified and accomplished women have been told to stand aside for the sake of men’s egos,” Mrs. Maloney tweeted after the map became public. “But I have a lifetime of experience standing up to powerful men.”

Mr. Nadler tweeted an hour later, “This new District belongs to no individual candidate, but instead to the voters that call it home. I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue steadfastly serving the West Side and eager to introduce myself—and my record of principled leadership—more fully, to neighboring communities of the East Side.”

Their new rivalry was already on display before the new map was released, when both lawmakers headlined a pro-Israel rooftop reception in Gramercy Park late last week hosted by the Jewish Democratic Council of America. Mrs. Maloney, who spoke immediately before Mr. Nadler, posted images on her social media account of her opponent from a particularly unflattering angle.

Two photos of Mrs. Maloney on her Twitter account showed her addressing the crowd while Mr. Nadler sat in the background, hunched over on a bench with his legs barely touching the ground.

“Loved speaking at Jewish Democratic Council of America about my support of Israel & commitment to standing up against anti-Semitism,” she tweeted above the image. “Last Congress, my Never Again Education Act was signed into law, establishing educational programming to teach students about the Holocaust.”

Mr. Nadler reminded attendees that when he was first elected to Congress, there were eight Jewish members from New York. Now he is the only Jewish lawmaker in the delegation representing a congressional district in the city.

“Now there is one: Me — I’m the only Jewish member from New York. And that’s an interesting commentary,” he said.

The congressional New York map was initially proposed by court-appointed special master Jonathan Cervas. He drew five pairs of congressional incumbents into the same districts, including the 12th east side District of Manhattan held by Mrs. Maloney, which was drawn into Mr. Nadler‘s previous west-side 10th District.

Mrs. Maloney did not waste any time after Mr. Cervas released his first draft of the New York map last week.

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

The veteran lawmakers also sat at the same table across from one another Sunday at the annual Met Council legislative breakfast, tweeted Jacob Kornbuth, an attendee at the event. Both barely made eye contact.

Mr. Nadler and Mrs. Maloney have known each other for 50 years as lawmakers who represented the east (Mrs. Maloney) and west (Mr. Nadler) sides of the city at different levels of government.

Each was elected to Congress in 1992. Mr. Nadler chairs the Judiciary Committee, while Mrs. Maloney chairs the Oversight and Reform Committee.

The tension between both lawmakers is likely to increase, as Mr. Nadler tersely hinted last week he is already strategizing how to take down his longtime political ally.

New York’s congressional primary is scheduled for August 23.

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

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