Democratic donors are rushing to spend money to save Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney of New York, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s chairman, as he looks poised to lose re-election for his New York City suburban seat.
Our Hudson, a Super PAC created in the summer to help Maloney during his primary race against left-wing challenger Alessandra Biaggi, a New York State Senator, has reactivated and begun spending money on attack ads against Republican State Assemblyman Mike Lawler. So far, over $140,000 has been spent, according to Politico.
Maloney has represented the area – formerly the 18th district until New York’s court-mandated redistricting this year – since 2013. Recent opinion polling in the district shows Maloney losing by up to 6% to Lawler, according to surveys by McLaughlin & Associates, which are graded “B/C” by FiveThirtyEight for reliability.
The uptick in polling for Lawler has led to a massive influx of GOP funds in an effort to defeat Maloney, whose own loss – despite being in charge of winning races for House Democrats – would be a crowning achievement for House Republicans as they appear set to retake the chamber in November’s midterms. In the last week alone, the Congressional Leadership Fund, a Super PAC aligned with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, has spent $4 million on the race against Maloney.
“Will you call on the president to stop the flights [of illegal immigrants] that have been going into…the area you represent?”
New York Democrat Sean Patrick Maloney: “There’s nothing secret about those movements…we want people to come back for a court date.” #NY17 pic.twitter.com/TNOiG0Buaa
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) October 17, 2022
Dan Conston, the fund’s president, told the NYP that “Sean Patrick Maloney’s hubris is catching up with him. We have a real shot to beat him in November.”
The spending comes in addition to Maloney’s own spending of $2 million on upcoming television ads, while Lawler himself has spent $380,000. The sums being spent are unusually high in a district that, until 2021, had a Cook Partisan Voting Index score of D+8, and voted for President Joe Biden in the 2020 election by a margin of 10%. (RELATED: Republicans Are Pumping Cash Into Solidly Blue Districts)
“The economy, crime, and New York’s punitively high taxes are key drivers in the race. Another factor is Maloney’s constant absence from his district. He was on a 10-city tour that included Paris, London, and Geneva last week, for example, while his constituents struggled to buy groceries. That’s been going on for years; it’s no surprise that voters have had it with him,” said William Francis Buckley O’Reilly, a Lawler spokesman.
The newly-drawn district includes parts of Westchester County and Rockland County, which includes affluent suburbs inhabited by many who commute to work in New York City. Former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are among the district’s notable residents.
Maloney’s candidacy created a furor among House Democrats earlier in the year when he displaced Democratic Rep. Mondaire Jones, who represented the previous 17th district, from running in the seat, even though Jones previously represented more areas in the new district than Maloney. Jones was instead forced to run in New York’s 10th congressional district, encompassing Lower Manhattan and parts of Northwestern Brooklyn in New York City, and lost his primary.
Maloney and Lawler participated in a virtual debate on Oct. 13, where Maloney accused Lawler of being a “MAGA Republican” and for “being in the pocket of pharmaceutical companies and the fossil fuel industry.” Lawler, in response, said that Maloney “can’t defend his own record on anything in this campaign, so he has spent his entire campaign lying about mine.”
Early voting in New York elections opens on Oct. 29.
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