Clashes Between New York Democrats After Redo Realignment – NBC New York

Two of New York’s longest-serving congressmen have gone from allies to rivals after a court redrawn the state’s congressional maps and shook up the favorable landscape Democrats hoped to create this election year.

The US Rep. Jerry Nadler, a key figure in former President Donald Trump’s first impeachment, and Rep. Carolyn Maloney, a campaigner for 9/11 rescue and recovery workers, is now competing in a Democratic primary for a reconfigured Manhattan district.

The intra-party struggles are not the outcome Democrats envisioned for the once-per-decade reclassification into a state where they control the governor’s mansion and the legislature.

Nadler, 74, and Maloney, 76, were each first elected to Congress 30 years ago and have risen to chair the powerful House Judiciary and Oversight committees, respectively.

Nadler has long represented the Upper West Side and areas extending to Wall Street and parts of Brooklyn, while Maloney’s old turf was on the other side of Central Park: the Upper East Side, along with parts of Brooklyn and Queens.

But when a state court on May 16 unveiled the new maps, merging the Upper East Side and Upper West Side into one congressional district — the 12th — the veteran lawmakers huddled on the floor of the house. Each tried to persuade the other to run elsewhere.

“I said I thought if we competed in the 12th I would probably win, so she should run in the 10th. Why didn’t she run in the 10th? She would clear the field and no one else would in all likelihood run,” Nadler said. “She said, ‘No, no, no.’ She thought she would win, and why didn’t I compete in the 10th? And I said no, I didn’t want that. And it was a deadlock and we left it at that.”

“We’ve known each other for a long time and we haven’t spoken since,” Nadler said.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney called it “unfortunate” that she will have to compete this fall against Deputy Jerry Nadler, whom she has been friends with for decades, for a seat in Congress after the Congressional realignment in New York. Melissa Russo of NBC New York reports this.

Maloney, whose campaign did not respond to multiple interview requests from The Associated Press, similarly related their conversation in an interview with the New York Post, saying she didn’t think he would have made the request if she was male.

“All my life people have told me I shouldn’t be where I am now, so I’m not surprised he told me to step aside,” she said. “The time for women to step aside is over.”

Democrat Suraj Patel, a 38-year-old who has unsuccessfully challenged Maloney in the past, is also joining in, stating in a statement: “There are no incumbents in this race, just two career politicians – but no one is entitled to a congressional seat. ”

For Democrats, New York would be one of the party’s few chances in the states to pull new district boundaries in their favor and potentially cut losses in November’s election.

But then the wheels came off.

After a successful legal challenge from Republicans yielded new court-signed congressional cards, the Democrats faced a tougher battle against the Republicans and among themselves.

Proposed designs for newly established Senate congressional and state districts have sparked a political battle. Melissa Russo reports.

Now that Nadler and Maloney face each other in the 12th district, along with Democrat Suraj Patel, there’s a vacant seat just south that wraps around parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn.

That has drawn a crowded field of at least 10 Democrats, including former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and U.S. Representative Mondaire Jones, who decided to make a jump from his Hudson Valley district after the new maps put him on a collision path. brought with another Democrat. US Representative Sean Patrick Maloney.

The lines of Maloney’s district, the 18th, were also changed under the court rewrite, dividing his Cold Spring home into the reconfigured 17th district. He was quick to declare that he would participate in the 17th, a move that angered some other New York Democrats, who saw it as unfair to Jones, who now represents that district.

It even drew him a primary challenge from progressive state senator Alessandra Biaggi, who announced she would hire him in the 17th, even though she doesn’t live there.

Biaggi won the support of progressive star US Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, who was one of Maloney’s critics.

Maloney defended his decision, noting that no other sitting Democrat lived in the 17th district — because Jones’ home was dragged into the new 16th district, much of which is owned by another Democrat, U.S. Representative Jamaal Bowman.

“From my point of view, I’m just running where I ended up,” Maloney said at a press conference last month.

You’ve probably heard of gerrymandering, the term for when politicians redesign political districts to either consolidate power – or tear apart their opponents’ supporters. But you probably don’t know that it dates back to the earliest years of the country and was named after a neighborhood that looked like a salamander. And you may not know how it directly affects your life. LX News presenter Nik Z explains with Dan Vicuna of Common Cause.

Jones told the AP he was considering racing in 17th, “but at the end of the day it was important to me, as someone in the fight to defend our democracy against the threats from the far right, not to run in a primary with one of my two colleagues in the Hudson Valley, and to focus on making my business in a district I feel a deep connection to.”

His case is that it’s time for an openly gay man to represent the new 10th district, which includes the West Village and the Stonewall Inn, an underground gay bar where a police raid in 1969 sparked a backlash that propelled the LGBTQ rights movement.

“It was through my visits to the West Village that I mustered up the courage to come out as an openly gay man,” Jones said. “It’s wild that the place where Stonewell happened, a movement for LGBTQ liberation born by queer people of color, never had a gay representative in Congress.”

The new maps have not only turned the political careers and collegiate relationships of New York Democrats upside down. They also disrupted national plans for the party to expand its chances of retaining power in the US House of Representatives.

Before being felled by a state court, Congressional district maps, initially signed by the state legislature, are said to have given Democrats a strong majority in 22 of 26 congressional districts.

“Democrats decided to roll the dice and it didn’t come their way,” said Michael Li, the reclassification expert at the Brennan Center for Justice, who called the legislature’s cards “one of the more aggressive gerrymanders” among states this year.

Democrats currently control 19 of New York’s 27 counties, but the state is losing one as a result of the 2020 census.

The new maps, drawn by a court-appointed pundit, will give Democrats a head start in 21 of the 26 districts, but some of them will be much more competitive and can be won by Republicans.

In the end, they’re more honest, Li said.

“If they’re not happy with the cards,” he said of Democrats, “one of the places to look when they have to blame is with themselves.”

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