Latest primaries force Democrats into painful matchups — and decide DeSantis’ opponent

Democrats are trying to maintain control of a House redistributed through the once-a-decade redistricting process.

Tuesday will provide perhaps the most visible display of the impact the post-censal redistricting has had – particularly on their party and their chances of retaining a simple five-seat majority.

Democrats initially saw New York state as an opportunity to undo GOP gains elsewhere in the country. But the courts said they had gone too far, declaring their maps unconstitutional and requiring the districts to be redrawn.

As a result, the New York House races were pushed back two months, putting the primaries on the same date as those in Florida, where Governor Ron DeSantis also inserted himself into his state’s redistricting process, proposing a congressional map that experts said was designed to elect as few Democrats to Congress as possible and guarantee a Republican victory. (The redistricting of Florida had its own legal drama.)

PHOTO: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks during a press conference at the Broward County Courthouse on August 18, 2022 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks during a press conference held at the Broward County Courthouse August 18, 2022 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The new card in New York forced perhaps the most anticipated game of the primary season. Veteran Reps. Jerry Nadler and Carolyn Maloney are vying for the chance to represent the new 12th Congressional District, with a young, progressive challenger, lawyer and former Obama staffer Suraj Patel also in the mix.

Nadler and Maloney have broadly similar voting records. Nadler highlighted his work as chairman of the Judiciary Committee, leading the committee through Trump’s impeachments, while Maloney has chaired the oversight committee since 2019.

Maloney found herself in hot water earlier this month when she ridiculed President Joe Biden’s stated plan to run for re-election. Maloney eventually walked back the comment, tweeting that she would support Biden if he decided to run again.

“Biden’s leadership secures historic investments for health, climate and economic justice prove once again why he is the strong and effective leader we need right now,” she wrote.

Meanwhile, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, has upset progressives with his decision to run in the new 17th District, sparking a chain reaction that puts other incumbents, like freshman Rep. Mondaire Jones, who is seeking re-election in the 10th District in what is expected to be a bitter proxy battle between moderates and progressives and has already drawn grievances from other Democratic members of Congress.

PICTURED: Representative Jerry Nadler speaks during the NY-12 Candidate Forum on Wednesday, August 10, 2022 in New York City.

Rep. Jerry Nadler speaks at the NY-12 Candidates Forum on Wednesday, August 10, 2022 in New York City.

Frank Franklin II/AP, FILE

In Florida, DeSantis will find out which Democrat he will face on his road to possible re-election, which could then lead directly to a presidential 2024. Representative Charlie Crist is seen as the preferred candidate to challenge DeSantis for the post Crist himself once held as a Republican. But to make it to November, Crist must defeat progressive agriculture commissioner Nikki Fried, his biggest challenger.

In the Seventh Congressional District, Democratic Rep. Stephanie Murphy decided not to seek re-election – which would have been a challenge: Months after Murphy’s announcement, the state legislature tipped its seat in bright red , according to FiveThirtyEight. Although several candidates are running in the GOP primary, the race boils down to two candidates: Army veteran Cory Mills, backed by Sen. Ted Cruz, and State Rep. Anthony Sabatini.

And the Senate primary sets up a battle between GOP incumbent Marco Rubio and Democratic Rep. Val Demings. Demings is expected to win his primary and face Rubio (unopposed in his primary) in the general election. Currently, FiveThirtyEight’s Senate forecast favors Rubio to win the seat, keeping him in Republican control.

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