In an unpleasant ending to a bitter New York In Tuesday’s Democratic primary, the allies of two powerful House committee chairs traded ugly barbs — before a long career in Congress was seen to end prematurely.
Carolyn Maloney, chair of the House Oversight Committee, said her opponent in New York’s 12th District, Jerrold Nadler, was “half dead,” possibly senile and unlikely to complete his next term in Washington, CNN reported. Allies of Nadler, the chairman of the bench, called Maloney “crazy” and “not quite sober.”
In the end, Nadler’s political career remained entirely alive. With almost 90% of the results when the race was called, he had taken 56% of the vote against 24% for Maloney. A third candidate, Suraj Patel, brought up the rear.
Speaking ahead of the vote, Nadler told CNN: “It’s obviously not true that I’m half dead, it’s obviously not true that I’m senile… Let them get away.”
In his victory speech, Nadler said he and Maloney “have spent much of our adult lives working together to better both New York and our nation. I speak for everyone in this room. tonight when I thank her for her decades of service to our city.”
Nadler and Maloney, both in their 30s with 30-year careers in Washington, were forced to fight without dignity to stay in Congress by redistricting, after the New York Supreme Court said The Democrats manipulated the map.
Nadler, 75, was first elected in 1992. As chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, he led the two impeachments of Donald Trump. He was buoyed in the final weeks of the primary campaign by endorsements from The New York Times and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
He said he would return to Congress “with a mandate to fight for causes that many of us know are just,” including abortion access and climate change.
Maloney, 76, also first elected in 1992, is the first woman to chair the House Oversight Committee. Known for her advocacy for 9/11 first responders seeking compensation for illnesses they attribute to contamination from the destruction of the World Trade Center, she has previously worn a firefighter jacket on Capitol Hill and at the 2019 Met Gala. .
On Tuesday, Maloney said women in politics still face misogyny, something she herself experienced during her primary campaign.
“I am truly saddened that we no longer have a woman representing Manhattan in Congress,” Maloney said. “It was a great, great honor, a joy and a privilege to work for you.”
Among other New York Democratic contests sparked by district changes, prominent party figure Sean Patrick Maloney saw Alessandra Biaggi, a progressive backed by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, by a comfortable margin, 67% to 33 % in point the race was called.
Elsewhere, Daniel Goldman, lead counsel in Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial, beat Mondaire Jones, one of the first two gay black men in Congress, and Yuh-Line Niou, another progressive candidate, in a closely contested race.
In the Republican primaries, Carl Paladino – a former far-right gubernatorial candidate who praised Hitler, made racist remarks about Barack and Michelle Obama and said US Attorney General Merrick Garland must be executed – established an early lead over his opponent in a Buffalo-area siege before being dragged down and defeated by Nick Langworthy, State Party Chairman.
There was also a key special election for Congress, in which Pat Ryan, the Democrat, took an early lead over Marc Molinaro, his Republican challenger in the 19th District. Molinaro made up ground as the night went on – before the race was called for Ryan, 51% to 49%.
Ryan will only serve in Congress until the end of the year, as the two men will fight for other seats in November. But observers were watching closely for clues about voters’ intentions less than three months before the midterm elections.
Republicans are favored to take over the House, as opposition parties often do in the first half of a presidential term. But Ryan’s victory will be seized by national Democratic leaders in hopes that recent national legislative successes and the excesses of the conservative-dominated Supreme Court, particularly on abortion, could swing the midterm contests in their own way.
The New York seat became vacant when Antonio Delgado, a Democrat, resigned from Congress to become Kathy Hochul’s lieutenant governor. Republicans have targeted the neighborhood as a possible turnaround, with heavy campaign expenses.