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.

Make Your Vote Count: Maloney, Patel Face Off in Today’s Congressional Primary


There’s a Primary Election today in New York City. In some parts of the Lower East Side, you have the opportunity to pick a Democratic nominee in the 12th Congressional District.

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney is one of several establishment politicians across the country facing challenges from young, progressive activists. East Village resident Suraj Patel has mounted a very well-funded campaign focused on turning out the millennial vote.

“When Maloney faced a challenger in New York’s 12th district in 2016,” Politico notes, “turnout was a little over 5 percent.” We can do better than that today! Really!

The victor will be running in the General Election in November, but because the district is heavily Democratic, today’s election is the main event. If you need to know where to vote, click here.

Maloney, Patel Debate on NY1 Tonight Ahead of Democratic Primary

Maloney and Patel at a debate held in May. Photo from Patel's Facebook page.

Maloney and Patel at a debate held in May. Photo from Patel’s Facebook page.

There’s a televised debate tonight between U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney and Suraj Patel, her challenger in the upcoming Democratic Primary.

As we have previously reported, Patel is taking on the 25-year incumbent in the 12th Congressional District, which includes sections of the Lower East Side. Maloney is one of several establishment Democrats across the country facing primary challenges from activists on the left newly energized in the Trump era.

The debate will take place at 7 p.m. on NY1. Patel’s campaign is also hosting a watch party at Mary O’s (32 Avenue A) beginning at 6 p.m.

Patel, 34, is a hotel executive, NYU professor and former Obama campaign advance man. He has nearly matched Maloney in fundraising, and is making the case that the district deserves more energetic and progressive leadership. The congresswoman has lined up a slew of endorsements, from fellow elected officials and local activists.

The primary takes place June 26.

Downtown Elected Officials React to Bin Laden’s Killing

Reaction is, of course, coming in from all over the world following the killing of Osama bin Laden. Here’s the statement we received a short time ago from U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, whose 14th Congressional District includes portions of the Lower East Side:

The announcement by the President was a truly historic moment after one of the most tumultuous decades in modern times. It comes as welcome news to those who lives were ripped apart by attacks of 9/11. As we approach the 10th anniversary of that terrible day, this is also a solemn moment to reflect and remember. Nearly 3,000 men, women, and children died in New York City alone, due directly to orders issued by Osama Bin Laden. His death will help bring a measure of closure to our city and it represents the end of a chapter in a larger story still to be written. There is more healing that must take place, more rebuilding that must be accomplished, and there are many still struggling to fully recover.  But tyrants are falling in the Middle East and freedom has made progress. And with this announcement I can hear my city breathing a sigh of relief.

More Photos from the Chinese Lunar New Year Parade

Around five-thousand people marched through the streets of Chinatown yesterday in celebration of the Year of the Rabbit. It was a beautiful day for Manhattan’s Chinese Lunar New Year Parade. We walked with the lion dancers, marching bands and floats as they made their way down Mott Street. Lots of photos after the jump!

More Bike/Car Collisions, Loathing the “Lion of the LES,” Pole Dance Greetings

  • A 16% spike in bike/car accidents — a new opportunity for the Post to rail against “arrogant riders.” (Post)
  • Census Bureau figures released today will reveal how many seats New York stands to lose in the U.S. House; Rep. Carolyn Maloney is among those in jeopardy (Politico).
  • Rep. Nydia Velazquez quietly consolidates power, serving as a counterweight to Vito Lopez (City Hall News).
  • In a blog post, the Observer’s David Friedlander speculates: Andrew Cuomo is still itching to overthrow Sheldon Silver, “the Lion of the Lower East Side.” (Observer)
  • Christmas tree vendor hit with $1500 fine (DNA Info).
  • The artistic newspaper box swiped from a Lower East Side street (later turning up on ebay) has been recovered (Animal).
  • The dailies just can’t get enough of the Lower East Side’s greeting card/pole dancer (Daily News).

Election Night Shocker! LES Elected Officials All Victorious

State Senator Daniel Squadron, State Assemblymn Brian Kavanagh.

Election night wasn’t exactly a nail-biter for the Lower East Side’s elected representatives. In Downtown Manhattan, there’s not much for Democratic candidates to fear once they prevail in their party’s primary.  But for the record, here are the results:

  • Daniel Squadron defeated Joseph Nardiello 86% to 14% in the 25th Senatorial District contest. Squadron returns to Albany to serve a second term, representing Lower Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn.
  • Brian Kavanagh beat Dena Winokur 84% to 16% in the 74th Assembly District race.  Kavanagh has represented the East Side, mostly above Houston Street, since 2007.
  • Sheldon Silver ran unopposed in the 64th Assembly District, a fact that drove the city’s editorial boards absolutely insane.
  • Carolyn Maloney defeated Ryan Brumberg 74% to 21% in the 14th Congressional District, which includes part of the LES.
  • Nydia Velazquez won over Alice Gaffney 92% to 7% in the 12th Congressional District, which includes another slice of the Lower East Side.

The Day After: Saujani’s Future

Reshma Saujani

More now on Rajani vs. Maloney.  The political newcomer, who rents an apartment in the East Village, showed a lot of determination (some said chutzpah) in taking on an 18-year incumbent. A short time after learning of her defeat by Congresswoman Maloney, Reshma Saujani told the “East Village Local” she is undeterred:

“I’m definitely running again. What we built was a movement… There’s no way I’m going to be one of those folks who runs, loses, and you never see them again. We started something, and we’re going to finish it.”

Poll Problems

Rep. Carolyn Maloney cast her vote this morning.

There are reports coming in from across New York City that new voting machines are causing all sorts of trouble.  Rivals in the 14th Congressional District (Rep. Carolyn Maloney and Reshma Saujani) didn’t seem to have any trouble submitting their ballots. But we’re hearing from Lower East Side voters that all is not well at many polling locations.

Saujani Harshly Criticizes Maloney in Radio Debate

The talk of the town following yesterday’s radio debate between Rep. Carolyn Maloney and challenger Reshma Saujani was not the debate itself. Instead, it was on comments by Saujani following the bitter encounter that she might not vote in the General Election if Maloney prevailed in the Democratic Primary.

The Times Endorses Maloney

The New York Times is out with its endorsements in the September 14th Democratic Primary.  Rep. Carolyn Maloney gets the nod over challenger Reshma Saujani in the 14th Congressional District (which includes part of the LES):

Maloney/Saujani Quizzed on WNYC

If you didn’t catch Brian Lehrer’s interviews with Rep. Carolyn Maloney and her Democratic challenger, Reshma Saujani, last week, you might want to click on the audio clip below. The candidates in the 14th Congressional District (which includes part of the LES) meet face to face for their only debate a week from today. The back-to-back interviews on WNYC last Friday will give you a pretty good idea what to expect during that midday radio-only encounter:

Saujani Plans “Community Conversation” Next Week

Reshma Saujani

We just got off the phone a few minutes ago with James Allen, press secretary for Congressional candidate Reshma Saujani.  He called to let us know about a series of town hall style “community conversations” Saujani will be holding in the next few weeks, leading up to Sept. 14th’s Democratic Primary. The first one is downtown Monday night, in the 14th Street Y Community Room.

Rep. Maloney Makes Campaign Stop at Hester Street Fair

A short time ago, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney made a brief appearance at the Hester Street Fair, one stop in a full day of campaigning across the 14th Congressional District, which includes the Lower East Side.  Maloney is being challenged in September’s Democratic Primary by Reshma Saujani.

Reshma Saujani’s Debate Clock

It’s a time honored dance in political campaigns. Challenger pressures incumbent to debate. Incumbent avoids committing for as long as possible.  Strongly worded press releases go back and forth. The combatants finally come to terms. Debate occurs. As the Democratic Primary race between Rep. Carolyn Maloney and challenger Reshma Saujani heats up, a new weapon has been deployed: a countdown clock!