Rep. Sean Maloney Loses New York House Seat In Major Upset For Democrats

by | Nov 9, 2022 | Politics

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D) is projected to lose his bid to represent New York’s 17th Congressional District, marking a major upset for Democrats in an area where President Joe Biden stamped out former President Donald Trump in 2020.It’s an especially painful loss for Democrats given Maloney’s job as chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, a task force dedicated to maintaining the party’s control of the House. He was New York’s first openly gay representative in Congress, where he’s served five terms.Advertisement Rep. Sean Maloney (D) currently represents New York’s 18th District, but after redistricting, he chose to run in the now-bluer 17th.Michael M. Santiago via Getty ImagesThe loss is made even more painful by the shock of it: Up until recently, Democrats weren’t anticipating a right race between Maloney and projected winner Michael Lawler, a Republican who’s served in the New York State Assembly since last year. But Maloney became a major target of Republican political action committees, which spent around $6 million painting him as soft on crime ― a concern for many voters despite the already safe area only becoming more so in recent years ― and seizing on anxieties over inflation and gas prices.In recent weeks, Maloney bristled at the GOP spending against him, telling The New York Times: “If you put $7 million behind a ham-and-cheese sandwich, that sandwich would be competitive in this district.”AdvertisementRecent redistricting wasn’t entirely on Maloney’s side either. Though he currently represents New York’s 18th District, he chose to run in the now-bluer 17th this cycle. However, only about 30% of his current constituents live in that district.It all paved the way for a victory for Lawler, who wants to cut government spending and limit abortion access to rape and incest survivors and mothers whose lives are at risk. Maloney, meanwhile, was a co-sponsor of the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2022 ― a House effort to codify Roe v. Wade that’s stalled in the Senate. Republican nominee Mike Lawler largely campaigned on an anti-crime, anti-government spending platform.via Associated PressMaloney’s campaign branded Lawler as “MAGA Mike,” citing his support for Trump in the 2020 election and his time serving as a delegate for Trump at the 2016 Republican National Convention. Lawler distanced himself somewhat from Trump’s camp, saying he recognizes Biden as the winner of the 2020 election and would do the same for Maloney if he lost.“When you look at people going to the grocery stores, home heating costs, gasoline costs — when I’m out campaigning, that’s all I get asked about,” Lawler told The Washington Post last month. “I don’t get asked about Donald Trump. Nobody cares. And the people who do care are never voting for me anyway.”AdvertisementLawler is slated to replace Rep. Mondaire Jones, a liberal Democrat who left the 17th District when Maloney edged him out and then ran an ill-fated campaign for a seat in Brooklyn. …

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