GOP Rep.-elect Mike Lawler, who defeated incumbent Democrat Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney in New York's 17th Congressional District, said on Newsmax on Thursday that gerrymandering the outgoing lawmaker had pushed ultimately left him in a new, unfamiliar district where he lost his reelection bid.
"I think it was a confluence of events that led to his defeat," Lawler told Newsmax's "National Report," saying that Maloney, the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, had sent a memo to New York's Democrats demanding that they gerrymander the state's congressional maps.
"Ultimately, a Democrat-appointed court of appeals threw out the maps and ruled them unconstitutional," said Lawler.
As a result, Maloney was moved into a district, "where 75% of it was new to him, and I'm coming out of Rockland County, which is 42% of the district," Lawler added. "He didn't have a built-in advantage that a normal incumbent would have."
Lawler said this, added to the control Democrats had that led to a 41-year record high on inflation and crime, as well as skyrocketing energy prices and the issues at the southern border, led to Maloney's defeat.
"Voters in the 17th District sent a strong message that they were tired of one-party rule," Lawler said. "They wanted change. They wanted to restore balance and common sense at every level of government. Democrats controlled everything in Washington, Albany, and New York City for the first time in our nation's history, and that's why New York sent four new members of Congress. Come January, we're going to have 11 Republicans going to Washington, which is single-handedly going to deliver the majority."
Lawler also said the 17th has 70,000 Democrats, including people like former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, and he knows he didn't win the race without having at least some support from Democrats.
"Currently I represent a 2-to-1 Democratic district in the state assembly," said Lawler. "My objective is to reach out to all of my constituents and make sure that I'm representing them and the issues that they're concerned about, bringing down the cost of living, making our communities safer, bringing down energy prices. That's why I got elected and the issues I ran on. That's going to be my focus."
Meanwhile, Lawler said he thinks there was too much emphasis put on polls, but now, House Republicans will be able to stop the Biden agenda and "ultimately end Nancy Pelosi's reign as speaker. And I think at the end of the day that sends a big message nationwide."
Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.