March 3, 2024
New York Democratic primary races will determine whether voters want to contiinue with established party leaders or look to a new generation promising energy and fresh ideas.

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Democrat voters in New York will decide Tuesday whether to stay the course with current leaders in Congress or hand the reins to a new guard, as fresh faces look to make waves in the state’s primaries.

The Empire State’s 12th District is certain to produce a shakeup, it is only a question of how big. House Judiciary Committee chair Rep. Jerrold Nadler – looking to switch from his current 10th District due to redistricting – is challenging House Oversight Committee chair Rep. Carolyn Maloney. Both were first elected to Congress in 1992, and while one is certain to be out after this year, challenger Suraj Patel is hoping to knock them both out.

“I’m bringing new energy, ideas, and practical experience to Congress,” Patel told Fox News just after polls opened Tuesday morning. “New York needs fighters in Washington with experience in the private and public sectors to fight for our rights and get our economy moving again. After 30 years in Congress, they’re out of touch and have no ideas for the future.”

Patel challenged Maloney in 2020 and came close to an upset victory, falling just three points short in that year’s primary. 

NY PREPARES FOR MAJOR  PRIMARY THAT WILL SEE AT LEAST 1 DEM HOUSE LEADER OUT OF A JOB

New York congressional candidates Suraj Patel and Alessandra Biaggi are among challengers looking to unseat veteran House members including Reps. Jerrold Nadler, Carolyn Maloney, and Sean Patrick Maloney (Biaggi: AP Photo/Hans Pennink, File; Patel: AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

New York congressional candidates Suraj Patel and Alessandra Biaggi are among challengers looking to unseat veteran House members including Reps. Jerrold Nadler, Carolyn Maloney, and Sean Patrick Maloney (Biaggi: AP Photo/Hans Pennink, File; Patel: AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File) (The Associated Press)

While he promotes a new vision compared to Nadler and Maloney, Patel eschewed the label of far-left progressive.” He describes himself as an Obama Democrat, having worked for the former president in the past. He also boasts an endorsement from former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who originally ran for that office as a Republican.

Nadler commented on the impact of the race in a recent debate.

“Losing one committee chairman would be unfortunate for New York,” he said. “Losing two committee chairmen would be catastrophic.”

The new district map is impacting other races as well. 

DEMOCRAT REP. MALONEY SAYS BIDEN NOT RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT AGAIN, THOUGHT SHE WAS ‘OFF THE RECORD’

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney – currently of the 18th District – is now running in the 17th District where he faces off against progressive State Senator Alessandra Biaggi. Maloney is the current chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which recently faced criticism from within the party for backing far-right candidates in Republican primaries with the hope of having an easier time against them in November.

If Biaggi’s name rings a bell, it could be because she was among the state Democrats who vocally opposed then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo during his multiple scandals that eventually drove him from office. As the chair of the State Senate Ethics Committee, Biaggi called Cuomo a “monster” after multiple sexual misconduct allegations emerged.

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney faces progressive Alessandra Biaggi in a New York primary race

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney faces progressive Alessandra Biaggi in a New York primary race (Jacquelyn Martin/Pool via REUTERS)

When Cuomo, during a Feburary 2021 press conference, tried to explain why his office had kept data regarding COVID-19 nursing home deaths from state lawmakers, Biaggi tweeted that his remarks were “riddled with lies, theatre, & deflection.”

Unlike Patel, Biaggi readily identifies as a progressive and received an endorsement from left-wing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.

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New York’s game of congressional musical chairs continues in the 10th District. With Nadler leaving that district, current 17th District Rep. Mondaire Jones is running there, avoiding a clash with Sean Patrick Maloney and Alessandra Biaggi.

Not that Jones has a free and clear path to victory – far from it. He is one of a dozen candidates in that race. The field had been even larger until former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio dropped out in July. To remain in Congress, Jones still has to get through opponents including former federal prosecutor and House impeachment attorney Daniel Goldman and former Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman, D-N.Y.