The New York congressman heading the House Democrats’ campaign efforts this fall survived a challenge from within his own party Tuesday, after facing criticism for where he chose to run for reelection.
“Mainstream won. Commonsense won,” Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney said at his victory party Tuesday night.
Maloney drew both a progressive challenger and ire from his colleagues earlier this year after he announced he would run in New York’s 17th Congressional District, a move that left the district’s current representative, Rep. Mondaire Jones, hunting for a new home.
Hudson Valley Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney drew ire from his colleagues this year after he announced he would run in New York’s 17th Congressional District.
“He has to set the example because he is the chairman of the DCCC, and I think he set a really bad example,” Clarke said in an interview in May of this year.
Though Maloney notes he lives in the newly drawn district, some colleagues in New York’s congressional delegation — including Reps. Ritchie Torres, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Yvette Clarke — were upset by Maloney’s decision and how he announced it.
Jones chose instead to run for the open 10th Congressional District in Manhattan and Brooklyn, but failed to win Tuesday’s primary there.
In an interview Wednesday, Torres called losing Jones for the delegation a “tragedy,” but says he has no desire to revisit Maloney’s decision and his past criticism of it.
“I made my opinions known several months ago,” he said. “Ultimately, the blame lies squarely with the special master who drew lines that were unnecessarily disruptive of communities of interest.” When NY1 caught up with Jones last week on the campaign trail, he said he had no regrets deciding not to challenge. Maloney instead: “I do not regret my decision to run to represent a community that has given a lot to me and that I’ve already been delivering for.”
Jones is, of course, not the only member of the state’s delegation to lose on Tuesday. Rep. Carolyn Maloney of Manhattan was sent packing after 30 years in Congress. Colleague Rep. Jerry Nadler beat her in the Democratic primary for New York 12th district.
Torres called losing Carolyn Maloney on the Hill a “tremendous loss” for New York, while again blaming the special master who drew the new district lines. “We benefit from committee chairs, we benefit from seniority, and when we lose it, the people pay a heavy price,” he said.
Torres said he continues to support Sean Patrick Maloney as the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and argued the momentum seems to be with the Democrats this fall, pointing to Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan’s victory in the special election for New York’s 19th Congressional District. As for Jones, Torres called this primary loss a “detour” on the congressman’s “path to political success.”
“If there’s someone who has the talent to pull off a comeback, it’s Mondaire Jones,” Torres said.
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