Who controls the house? NY and NJ Suburb Races can tip the balance of power – NBC New York
The national fight for control of the US House of Representatives will be decided in part on Tuesday on a battleground that seemed unlikely a year ago: the suburbs of New York.
One of the bluest states in the nation, New York has emerged as an unexpected opportunity for Republicans due to voter discontent and a more favorable political map.
Many of the most closely watched congressional contests remained too close to be called early Wednesday morning, including the re-election race for U.S. Representative Sean Patrick Maloney. The five-term Democrat, who was supposed to lead his party’s bid to retain Congress, is fighting for his survival in a Hudson Valley district.
Maloney, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, is facing Republican state deputy Mike Lawler, who has run a spirited campaign focused on the high cost of gasoline and other pocket issues.
Republicans also fought competitive campaigns in the four congressional districts of Long Island, Staten Island, and other battlegrounds in the Hudson Valley and Catskills.
Those tight race clusters seemed impossible earlier this year, when the Democratic-controlled state legislature redrew the boundaries of New York’s congressional districts along party-friendly lines.
The courts, however, rejected those maps, citing procedural errors and overt partisanship. New maps of the state’s 26 congressional districts were then drawn by a court appointee, who prioritized creating as many competitive districts as possible.
“New York was the crown jewel in their redistricting, where they thought they could pull the cards a lot more to their advantage to try to make up for what the Republicans did in Florida or Texas,” said science professor Shawn Donahue. politics at the University at Buffalo.
Instead, Republicans are running in more favorable districts as they relentlessly attack Democratic opponents over inflation and fear of crime.
Democratic candidates have highlighted their support for abortion rights following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Some have presented themselves as champions of democracy, running against Republicans who did not accept the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Kathy Hochul’s prospect of becoming the first woman elected to New York’s gubernatorial seat grew shaky in the home stretch of the election as her opponent, Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin, tapped into voter fears over violent crimes and made racing competitive. Reporting by NBC New York’s Melissa Russo.
Maloney, who was the first openly gay New Yorker elected to Congress, had already scored victories in a Republican-leaning district, but the redistricting plan placed him in reconfigured territory where fewer voters know him.
National Republican groups, sensing an opportunity, spent millions on ads supporting Lawler, a former executive director of the state’s Republican Party who worked in local government before his election to Assembly in 2020.
Further north, in the Hudson Valley, incoming U.S. Representative Pat Ryan, a Democrat, is trying to replicate his upset victory in a special election in August. Ryan boosted Democrat morale after winning a race to finish the term of former U.S. Representative Antonio Delgado, who had resigned to become New York’s lieutenant governor.
Ryan campaigned hard on abortion rights, and national Democrats hoped his victory could provide a roadmap for more congressional victories in November. He is now running for a full term in another district against Republican Colin Schmitt, a second-term state assemblyman who campaigned on economic issues and his service as a sergeant in the Guard. army national.
Early Wednesday morning, Ryan declared victory and Schmitt issued his concession, but the race had yet to be announced.
Republican Ryan defeated in the special election, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro now leads a close race against Democrat Josh Riley in a sprawling new district that stretches from the Massachusetts border to Ithaca – the small town in the Finger Lakes region that is home to Cornell University.
Long Island is a particularly active battleground with three of its four congressional seats up for grabs due to incumbents not seeking re-election. Republicans had a surprisingly strong showing in local elections on Long Island last year and reached eventual upsets in two congressional districts now represented by Democrats.
In one, Democrat Robert Zimmerman takes on Republican George Santos in the first U.S. congressional race featuring two openly gay candidates. Zimmerman conceded the run early Wednesday morning, but the run had yet to be officially announced.
In the other, Democrat Laura Gillen, a Hempstead city attorney and one-term supervisor, faces Republican Anthony D’Esposito, a Hempstead City Council member and former New York Police Department detective.
Further east on Long Island, Democrat Bridget Fleming takes on Republican Nicholas LaLota in a revamped version of the congressional district now represented by U.S. Representative Lee Zeldin, who decided not to seek re-election so he could run for the post of governor.
Fleming is a former New York City sex crimes prosecutor and member of the Suffolk County Legislature. LaLota is the Chief of Staff of the Suffolk Legislative Assembly.
Republican U.S. Representative Andrew Garbarino takes on Democrat Jackie Gordon in a race on Long Island’s increasingly diverse South Shore.
The lone Republican representative in New York, Nicole Malliotakis, faced a rematch from Democrat Max Rose, competing in a district made up of Staten Island and a slice of Brooklyn. Rose represented Staten Island in Congress until Malliotakis ousted him in 2020.
Malliotakis was up for reelection over Rose, according to NBC News.
Some of New York’s best-known House Democrats have also won reelection, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jerrold Nadler.
A closely watched upstate New York race is unfolding in the Syracuse area, where Republican Rep. John Katko is leaving after four terms. This race pits Republican Brandon Williams against Democrat Francis Console.
Williams, a first-time candidate living outside the district, is a US Navy veteran and tech entrepreneur who moved to the area full-time several years ago. Conole is a graduate of the US Naval Academy and a current captain in the US Naval Reserve. The Syracuse resident has never held elected office.
Meanwhile, New Jersey Democrats are defending 10 seats against the two Republicans in the first election since congressional districts were redrawn after the 2020 census.
The GOP entered Election Day with optimism that it could win in the newly drawn 7th District, where incumbent Democratic Rep. Tom Malinowski had a rematch with former Republican Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean. Jr. The district garnered more Republican voters after its northwest boundaries were redrawn, and Kean took advantage of this, winning the district and flipping the seat for the Republicans.
Malinowski, who was seeking his third term, narrowly defeated Kean, a former state legislator and the son of former Republican Governor Tom Kean Sr., in 2020. Malinowski won the election for the first time by defeating the incumbent Republican Representative Leonard Lance in 2018.
That race was among the most closely watched in New Jersey, which has no statewide contests or ballot questions this year.
Kean has seized on inflation as a major issue and hammers House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whom he bets is unpopular with voters. Malinowski tried to frame Kean as overly dependent on the support of voters loyal to former President Donald Trump to represent the district, which shifted reliably from GOP to Democratic control during his years in the White House.
Kean was the top Republican in the state Senate from 2008 to this year after declining to run for office again in last year’s election. Malinowski is a former Obama administration official and supported Trump’s impeachment as well as the $1 trillion infrastructure bill that Democratic President Joe Biden signed a year ago.
Democratic incumbents Mikie Sherrill in the 11th district in the northern part of the state and Andy Kim in the 3rd district in southern and central New Jersey won first-term elections with Malinowski in 2018. However, their districts became more Democratic when the borders were redrawn. Democrats controlled the redistricting process.
The redistricting commission met months after reports that Malinowski had bought and sold stocks with a stake in the country’s COVID-19 response. There is no indication that Malinowski acted on the basis of inside information in making his investment decisions and said he did not direct his broker to make any particular trades.
Sherrill faced Republican challenger Paul DeGroot, who worked as a prosecutor in Passaic County, with a candidate from the Libertarian Party. Sherill was the predicted winner, according to NBC News.
Kim was projected by NBC News to defeat Republican Bob Healey, who runs a yacht business in southern New Jersey, and two other candidates.
The incumbents were seeking re-election in all but one House race: Robert Menendez, the son of Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez, who was the Democrats’ nominee to fill the 8th District seat opened by Rep. Albio’s retirement Sirs.
The young Menendez is an attorney in private practice and serves as a commissioner for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the region’s airports, ports and tunnels. He beat Republican Marcos Arroyo and five others in the district.