Nov 9, 2022 - Politics & Policy

House Dem campaign chief concedes seat to GOP foe

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) speaks after conceding his House race.

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) speaks after conceding his House race on Wednesday. Photo: Andrew Solender/Axios

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday conceded his House race to Republican opponent Mike Lawler, Maloney's spokesperson told Axios.

Why it matters: Maloney's loss is a rare instance of a campaign chief losing their own re-election, highlighting a disappointing showing for New York Democrats even as the party saw shockingly strong performances in races across the country.

What they're saying: At a press conference on Wednesday, Maloney confirmed that he called Lawler, a state assemblyman, "to congratulate him on a good win."

  • "I don't like to lose, but my opponent won this race and he won it fair and square. And that means something. So I'm going to step aside," Maloney added.
  • He also told reporters he spoke to President Biden and told him "Democrats stood our ground and we believe Nov. 8, 2022, will be a signature date in American political history."

What we're watching: The DCCC is planning to brief House Democrats on the midterm results on a call Wednesday afternoon that will include Maloney and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, two sources familiar with the matter told Axios.

  • Maloney said the call will echo what he said at his press conference: "That we gave it our all, and we beat the spread."

By the numbers: Two outside Republican groups, the Congressional Leadership Fund and National Republican Congressional Committee, spent at least $9.5 million to knock off Maloney.

  • The district, which covers parts of the Hudson Valley, voted for President Biden by 10 points in 2020.
  • Maloney had been seen as weakened by anger over his decision to run in a district currently held by Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.) after a chaotic redistricting process that foiled Democrats' gerrymandering efforts.

What caught our eye: Shortly after news broke that Maloney had conceded, Jones, who ran instead in a New York City-based district but lost the August primary, tweeted: "Yikes."

Editor's note: This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

Go deeper