Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney soundly defeats progressive challenger
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday beat back a fierce primary challenge from progressive state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi by a roughly two-to-one margin in New York's 17th District, according to the AP.
Why it matters: Maloney's win heads off a potential PR nightmare for House Democrats: the chair of their campaign arm losing his re-election in a year in which they're already widely seen as being on the back foot.
- It also halts a trend of young progressive insurgents unseating powerful New York Democrats in recent cycles.
The backdrop: Maloney, the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, angered many in his own party by opting to run in a district largely represented by Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.) after a chaotic redistricting process.
- After Jones retreated to a district in New York City, Biaggi — who had initially been running in a district that stretched to Long Island — launched a bid against Maloney.
- She came in with endorsements from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and powerful progressive groups, as well as a history of unseating incumbents.
- But Maloney had a significant cash advantage and the backing of far more local leaders, as well as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and former President Clinton, a resident of the district.
What's next: While Maloney now turns his attention to helping colleagues win their elections in November, he's not out of the woods yet on his own reelection.
- Republicans have a top recruit in state Assemblyman Mike Lawler, who is on the National Republican Campaign Committee's "On The Radar" list.
- The district voted for President Biden by 10 points in 2020, giving Maloney an edge – but Republicans have targeted even more Democratic-leaning districts this cycle.
What they're saying: “Voters in the Hudson Valley have spoken: they want leaders who will put partisanship aside to get real results," Maloney said in a statement.
- Maloney thanked Biaggi for "running a good race," adding that the primary "made us stronger."
- He added: "Now is the time to come together and ensure the Hudson Valley resoundly rejects the radical, anti-choice, pro-gun policies of MAGA Republican Mike Lawler.”
The other side: Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), the chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said his Democratic counterpart "failed the Hudson Valley with his incompetence, self-serving politics, and far-left extremism."
- "Maloney will be out of a job this November when voters reject his progressive agenda that’s brought about historic inflation and a violent crime wave," he said.