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Top Democrats Jerry Nadler, Carolyn Maloney face off in NY House primary

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y (L) and Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., Democratic candidate for New Yorks 12th Congressional District, greet voters while campaigning in Manhattan, on Saturday, August 20, 2022.

Tom Williams | Cq-roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images

Two powerful House Democrats from NEW YORK are fighting for political survival in Tuesday’s primary election following a redrawn district map spurred them to compete for an individual seat in Congress.

Incumbent Reps. Jerry Nadler and Carolyn Maloney, senior liberal lawmakers who each chair prominent House committees, have locked horns in the battle for Manhattan’s newly formed 12th Congressional District.

That reshaped district covers the center of the island, like the Upper East Side, currently represented by Maloney, and Nadler’s domain on top of the West Side.

Nadler seemed to hold an advantage heading into Tuesday’s vote. THE BRAND NEW York Times and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., both gave him their endorsements. Surveys of the race conducted by Emerson College Polling-Pix11-The Hill showed Nadler extending his lead, with 43% of respondents backing him and 29% picking Maloney in the newest edition.

People vote in a polling station in a residential building in New York’s 12th Congressional District on August 23, 2022 in NEW YORK.

Spencer Platt | Getty Images

Suraj Patel, who has challenged Maloney in two previous primary elections, can be on the ballot, garnering support from 14% of respondents in the most recent Emerson poll.

Both front-runners, who’ve represented their adjacent chunks of Manhattan for three decades, aren’t pulling punches.

“He said, ‘Step aside,I’m running.’ And I said, ‘Well, I’m running too. I’m not leaving,'” Maloney said in a NY Magazine profile of the race. “He said, ‘I’m gonna win.’ I said, ‘I’m gonna win.’ We haven’t spoken since,” she said.

Maloney, 76, in addition has fanned rumors that Nadler, 75, won’t serve out his full term if elected and that he’s senile and unfit for office charges Nadler’s campaign has denied.

Nadler has highlighted the differences within their voting records, saying Maloney has been “wrong on very major issues” including her “cowardly” vote for the Patriot Act, NY Magazine reported. Nadler in addition has made his Jewish faith a central section of his pitch to voters.

Maloney, meanwhile, has sought to center her experiences as a female in politics while touting her record on social issues including abortion, a galvanizing topic in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Roe v. Wade.

“You cannot send a guy to accomplish a woman’s job,” Maloney said in a recently available television ad. She’s been endorsed by famed attorney and feminist activist Gloria Steinem.

Nadler currently chairs the home Judiciary Committee, while Maloney leads the home Oversight Committee.

The brand new district lines were drawn by way of a court-appointed alternative party and approved by way of a state judge in-may, the culmination of an acrimonious redistricting process. Republicans had successfully argued a Democrat-proposed map, which may have drawn district lines for another 10 years, was unconstitutionally gerrymandered.

The scrapping of the Democrats’ map led a federal judge to order NY to delay its congressional primary date to Tuesday, Aug. 23, 8 weeks later than originally scheduled. The state’s gubernatorial primary, however, was still held in late June. That contest setup an over-all election fight between Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul and GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin.

The ultimate NY map resulted in clashes among current and hopeful House Democrats in multiple districts.

Five-term incumbent Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, opted to get reelection in the redrawn neighboring district which includes terrain held by freshman Rep. Mondaire Jones. Instead of compete keenly against Maloney, Jones is campaigning for another new district which includes lower Manhattan and section of Brooklyn.

Former NEW YORK Mayor Bill de Blasio had announced a bid for that House seat, but dropped out last month.

Sean Patrick Maloney, regarded as a centrist who’s backed by police unions and former President Bill Clinton, faces major competition from progressive state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi, who has been endorsed by Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez among others.

Jones, meanwhile is fighting in a crowded field that some polls show has been led by Daniel Goldman, a Levi Strauss heir who served as counsel during former President Donald Trump‘s first impeachment. Trump was impeached inside your home and acquitted in the Senate.

Some state Democrats, including Nadler, have loudly decried the brand new district map. Leading Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, who represents a portion of Brooklyn, called it a “constitutional travesty.”

NY State Supreme Court Justice Patrick McAllister, a Republican, defended the changes, writing that the “boundaries absolutely needed to be moved” and that the brand new map is “almost perfectly neutral.”

However the moves may dash Democrats’ hopes of keeping control of the Housein an election cycle that’s historically tough for the incumbent president’s party. Although some models show Democrats are slightly favored to carry onto the Senate at night midterms, Republicans remain favored to take the home.

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