The controversial — and quite confusing — redistricting map drawn by a New York state judge is likely to be the cause for the defeat of two Democrat U.S. representatives in the Tuesday primary.
That is the consensus of several experts on demographics and New York politics, as Reps. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., and Mondaire Jones, D-N.Y., prepare to face spirited young challengers in new districts into which each moved to seek reelection.
Five-termer Maloney, one-time staff secretary to President Bill Clinton and chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, squares off against state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi, granddaughter of the late Rep. Mario Biaggi, D-N.Y., and a leading progressive. Freshman lawmaker Jones faces several other Democrats, but the front-runner in the primary is Levi Strauss heir Dan Goldman.
Both Maloney and Jones are gay.
When the new district lines were unveiled earlier this year, Maloney, 56, found his home in the newly drawn 17th District, which includes Dutchess, Putnam, and Rockland Counties. The bulk of the new 17th was the old turf of Jones, who was furious not only that Maloney chose to run there, but that he learned of his colleague's decision from Twitter.
"Sean Patrick Maloney did not even give me a heads up before he went on Twitter to make that announcement," Jones told reporters in May. "And I think that tells you everything you need to know about Sean Patrick Maloney."
Jones opted to run in the new 10th District, which covers lower Manhattan and northwest Brooklyn.
And picking up his leftist cudgel in the 17th was Biaggi, a progressive in the mold of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., ("AOC") who got her start in the presidential campaign of Hilary Clinton (whose husband Bill has endorsed his one-time staffer and protégé Maloney).
Biaggi, 36, has slammed Maloney for votes she says will weaken the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and has been a vigorous supporter of police reform measures such as "Defund the Police," opponents charge; and police unions have launched a $400,000 independent expenditure on behalf of Maloney. (Ironically, Biaggi's grandfather got elected to Congress primarily on the strength of his reputation as the most-decorated police officer in New York and was the New York Conservative Party's "law and order" candidate for mayor in 1973).
Maloney started the race as the favorite, and Biaggi's own internal poll showed her trailing Maloney by 34% to 21%. That was in July, and the fervent support from the progressive grassroots for Biaggi is a sign the momentum is moving her way.
As for Jones, signs are strong he will not only lose, but lose badly. A recently completed Emerson College poll showed, among likely primary voters in the 10th District, Goldman has 22%, state Assemblywoman Yuh Line Niou has 17% and New York City Councilwoman Carlina Rivera and Jones each have 13%.
Goldman, who was Democrat counsel in the first House impeachment of Donald Trump, has deployed $4 million of his own wealth on the campaign and recently got the endorsement of The New York Times.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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