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Tags: new york | primaries | republicans | democrats | house

Gizzi: Republicans Could Gain Big in New York House Races

a vote sign
A vote sign is posted at an early voting site at a YMCA in Brooklyn in New York City. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

John Gizzi By Tuesday, 23 August 2022 05:57 AM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

Last month, House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., pointed out to Newsmax that in the big Republican sweep of 2010 — a year in which the GOP emerged with the most House seats it had had since 1946 — the state that elected the most freshman Republican House members was New York with six.

"And that is what is shaping up with the opportunities we have in New York now," Stefanik said.

As Empire State Republicans select their nominees in Tuesday's primary, Stefanik may well be right. In no less than 6 districts, Republicans are considered at least even money to hold seats that GOP lawmakers relinquished.

Easily the most closely-watched contest will be in the upstate 19th District, from which Democrat Rep. Antonio Delgado resigned to become lieutenant governor earlier this year. Along with selecting nominees for the November election, voters in the 19th will actually elect a new congressman to fill out the remaining months of Delgado's term.

"And Marc Molinaro should win it, although it is tight," New York Conservative Party Chair Gerard Kassar told Newsmax on Friday. He was referring to Dutchess County Executive and 2018 Republican gubernatorial nominee Molinaro, who is running with the Republican and Conservative Party lines.

Once considered a slam-dunk for Molinaro has tightened in recent weeks because Democrat and Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan has raised more than $2 million on his opposition to the Supreme Court's Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade.

Should he pull off the upset, Ryan is sure to be imitated by other Democrats who see a pro-choice stand as an avenue to victory in what looks like a Republican year.

In the new 23rd District, which combines the Erie County districts of retiring Reps. Chris Jacob and Tom Reed, a barnburner of a primary will conclude Tuesday. Carl Paladino, multi-millionaire businessman and 2010 Republican nominee for governor, began as the favorite.

"Mad as Hell Carl," who came out of the "Tea Party" movement and was an early supporter of former President Donald Trump, has praised Adolf Hitler on the radio and most recently said that Attorney General Merrick Garland "should be executed for the FBI raid on Donald Trump's home in Florida." He later said he was being "facetious."

Paladino is in a close race with State Republican Chair Nick Langworthy, who is also a Trump supporter and is said to have a better "ground game." The winner of this primary will almost certainly go to Congress, as the 23rd is the safest Republican seat in the state.

In the nearby 22nd District (Syracuse), redistricting helped make the seat of retiring GOP Rep. John Katko more Democratic and U.S. Navy reserve officer Francis Conole is likely to top the 4-candidate primary. So far, he has raised $1.1 million.

In contrast, Republicans have a spirited primary between software company owner Brandon Williams, who already has the Conservative Party nomination, and Steve Wells, Katko's longtime finance chairman. The House GOP leadership has given its blessing to Wells and spent over $1 million in a last-minute independent expenditure on his behalf.

Williams, however, has hit back at Wells as an "establishment" candidate. His supporters also remind voters of his association with one of the ten Republicans in the House who voted for Trump's impeachment.

The nationally-watched Democratic primary in the 17th District features Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Sean Patrick Maloney, a protégé of Bill Clinton, battling it out with State Sen. Alessandra Biaggi, who has the support of EMILY's List, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ("AOC"), and other pillars of the progressive win of their party.

Whoever wins will almost surely face a battle royale in November in the very marginal 17th. State Assemblyman Michael Lawler is considered the favorite in the 4-candidate Republican primary and will also carry the Conservative Party line in the fall.

In the 1st District (Suffolk County) that Rep. Lee Zeldin is leaving to carry the Republican standard for governor, lawyer and U.S. Navy veteran Nick LaLota should win handily in the Republican primary. His opponent is Michelle Bond, who is a cryptocurrency lobbyist and has the backing of Donald Trump, Jr.

LaLota has the Conservative line. Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming, 62, seems the certain Democratic nominee.

4th District (Nassau County) Republicans feel they are better-than-even money to pick up the seat of retiring Democrat Rep. Kathleen Rice.

Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen, a self-styled moderate-to-conservative, had been the favorite for the Democratic nomination but now faces a stronger-than-anticipated primary challenge from progressive Malverne Village Mayor Keith Corbett (who is backed by Democrat State Chair Jay Jacobs). The Republican and Conservative lines will go to ex-Hempstead Councilman Anthony D'Esposito, the former New York City policeman.

In the 1st District (Nassau County), which Rep. Tom Suozzi left to run unsuccessfully for governor, a very divisive Democratic primary is finally over.

Blessed by Hillary Clinton, Democratic National Committee member Robert Zimmerman is considered the favorite. But he faces strong opposition from fellow liberal and community organizer Michelle D'Arrigo, North Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaiman, a favorite of organized labor, and Suozzi-endorsed Nassau County legislator Josh Lafazan.

The nominee of a progressive such as Zimmerman or D'Arrigo would make financier and Republican-Conservative hopeful George Devolder-Santos a formidable candidate.

© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


John-Gizzi
Last month, House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., pointed out to Newsmax that in the big Republican sweep of 2010, the state that elected the most freshman Republican House members was New York with six.
new york, primaries, republicans, democrats, house
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2022-57-23
Tuesday, 23 August 2022 05:57 AM
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