Rep. Maloney Defeats Patel in Congressional Primary

Maloney campaigning at Stuyvesant Town. Image from Rep. Maloney's Facebook page.

Maloney campaigning at Stuyvesant Town. Image from Rep. Maloney’s Facebook page.

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, who represents parts of the Lower East Side, was victorious in last night’s primary election.

Preliminary results in the 12th Congressional District show she won with 58.8% (24,223 votes), while challenger Suraj Patel had 41.2% (16,995 votes). In a statement posted on Twitter, Maloney said, “Thank you to the voters for honoring me with the Democratic nomination for . I will continue doing all I can to fight back against Trump’s hateful agenda and make sure we take back the House in November!”

Patel, a 34-year-old hotel executive, argued that Maloney had become complacent after a quarter century in office. He said the district deserved more progressive, energetic leadership. Patel ran a well-funded but unconventional campaign aimed at millennials, but attracted almost no support from party activists who are critical to winning low-turnout primaries. He did, however, perform better than earlier Maloney rivals. In 2010, challenger Reshma Saujani only pulled in about 6,000 votes.

Political insiders were not very enthused about Maloney’s showing last night. Politico’s Steve Shepard observed, “Carolyn Maloney survived on the East Side. But her 58% is far from impressive.” City & State noted, “Patel fared well for a candidate running against what was considered a safe seat for Maloney.”

In November’s general election, Maloney will face Republican Eliot Rabin, a boutique owner on the Upper East Side, and Green Party candidate Scott Hutchins.

New York politicos were pretty distracted last night after the shocking defeat of Rep. Joe Crowley, a high ranking figure in the national Democrat Party. He was knocked off by a young progressive, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of the Bronx. One local elected official, Council member Carlina Rivera, is weighing in this morning on last night’s results. Rivera is co-chair of the Council’s Women’s caucus.

I would like to commend Carolyn Maloney and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on their victories last night in New York’s Democratic Congressional Primaries. It’s clear that in 2018, Democrats will win back Congress when we support strong, fearless women who embrace a truly progressive agenda that addresses issues like healthcare for all, the creation of a humane and compassionate immigration system, and a living wage that allows families to continue living in New York City. Carolyn Maloney has been an icon and role model for women in New York City politics for over 25 years, and I congratulate her on another impressive victory for her and Manhattan’s East Side… I also want to say how proud I am – particularly as a Puerto Rican and one of only two Latinas in the New York City Council – of what Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has accomplished for our community in just a short amount of time. I remember running just last year for the New York City Council and questioning if I had the experience to run and win a campaign. To see what Alexandria has done at the age of 28 is a reminder to all New York women – and Latinas in particular – that our time is now and we do not have to wait our turn. We have to lead. It is clear that Alexandria will be a standard bearer of progressive values for our city and our nation.

More reaction as the day goes on.