Congressman-elect Michael Lawler didn't pull off a surprising victory over Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., Tuesday night solely because of Maloney's let-them-eat-cake moment, when he infamously encouraged New York voters to eat "Chef Boyardee" products during times of high inflation.
But it helped Americans put a face on Lawler's victory, especially with Maloney becoming the first Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman since Jim Corman (in 1980) to lose a House general election.
"Voters were very frustrated with everything that's going on in New York, since Democrats control everything," Lawler told Newsmax on Thursday afternoon, while appearing on "The Chris Salcedo Show."
As part of that exasperation, Lawler said the voters in the 17th congressional district were "hyper-focused" on two overriding issues — high inflation and crime.
"And my opponent ... owned it by voting 100% of the time with [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi and [President] Joe Biden," said Lawler, while adding that Maloney erred by publicly declaring cashless bail to be a high campaign priority.
"The [New York] voters responded by giving [Maloney] a dish of Chef Boyardee. But this time, it was served cold," added Lawler, currently a New York assemblyman.
The 17th congressional district reportedly has 70,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans. However, Lawler found that to be a workable differential to conquer, since "50%" of the district households have either a cop, fireman, U.S. military veteran, or emergency first responder as a resident.
"You have to appeal to a broad coalition," said Lawler, while reporting that he visited every community in the district — regardless of political demographics or religious backgrounds — and conducted "honest" talks with the voters.
"You have to address the issues that cut through the party lines," Lawler added.
Among the most prominent residents of New York's 17th district — former President Bill Clinton and 2016 presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
That factoid wasn't lost on Lawler, either.
"Today, Hillary Clinton has to wake up realizing her district [will soon] be led by a Republican congressman," quipped Lawler.
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