Rep. Jerry Nadler Defeats Fellow NY Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney In Gaffe-Filled Member-Versus-Member Primary

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Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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Rep. Jerry Nadler defeated fellow New York Democrat Carolyn Maloney in a member versus member primary punctuated by Maloney’s mishandling of questions surrounding President Joe Biden’s future.

With 40% of votes counted, Nadler received 56% support, while Maloney garnered 26%. Activist Suraj Patel finished third with 17%. New York’s 12th District leans Democratic by 68 points, meaning Nadler is a likely shoo-in for a sixteenth term. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer weighed in with a late endorsement of Nadler in the aftermath of Maloney’s claim that Biden would not seek re-election in 2024. (RELATED: Trump Trolls Democrats With Two Key Primary Endorsements)

Several elections analysts called the race shortly before 9:30pm Eastern time.

A special master drew both fifteen-term committee chairs into the 12th District after the state’s high court threw out a pro-Democrat gerrymander. The map approved by the New York legislature created safe seats for both Nadler and Maloney and a Democrat-leaning district on Staten Island.

Nadler, Maloney, and Patel all leaned on identity politics throughout the primary. Nadler is the last Jewish member of New York City’s congressional delegation, while Maloney claimed in a campaign ad that voters should send her to do “a woman’s job” in Congress. Patel highlighted his age on social media and in campaign ads. The former Obama campaign official is nearly 40 years younger than both Nadler and Maloney.

Maloney repeatedly tripped over questions related to Biden’s future political plans. Amid growing calls for the 79-year-old to step down from the presidency after one term, the House Oversight Committee chairwoman said during a debate that she does not believe Biden will seek another term. She later apologized, speaking directly to Biden during a CNN appearance.

“Mr. President, I apologize. I want you to run. I happen to think you won’t be running, but when you run or if you run, I will be there 100%. You have deserved it. You are a great president and thank you for everything you’ve done for my state and all the states and all the cities in America,” she said.

Maloney made similar comments during an interview with The New York Times Editorial Board. The congresswoman told the Editorial Board, “off the record, he’s not running again,” before being informed that she was speaking on the record. “On the record? No, he should not run again,” she added.