Maloney vs Nadler: New York thunderdome update

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File

When an Appeals Court decided in April that a redistricting map prepared by Democrats was in violation of the state constitution, the job of revising the map went to a special master appointed by the court. He produced a new map which was much less favorable to Democrats in general and which had one very unexpected outcome. Because districts for east and west Manhattan were combined, it meant that two Democratic incumbents who’ve been in office for 30 as allies years would be facing off against one another. Monday the NY Times wrote about the contest between Rep. Carolyn Maloney and Rep. Jerry Nadler.

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As he sat in the shade of Riverside Park on a sparkling recent weekday morning in Manhattan, Representative Jerrold Nadler tried to make sense of how two powerful allies suddenly found themselves at war…

He recalled telling Ms. Maloney in a private conversation on the House floor in Washington a few days earlier that he would win, suggesting she run for a neighboring seat.

“She said basically the opposite, and so it was an impasse,” Mr. Nadler said, “and we left it at that.”

…neither Mr. Nadler nor Ms. Maloney has wasted any time working the phones to pressure union leaders, old political allies and wealthy donors — many of whom the two have shared for years — to pick sides.

Allies of Ms. Maloney whispered doubts about Mr. Nadler’s health. (His aides say his health is good.) Mr. Nadler’s associates circulated old news articles about Ms. Maloney’s obsession with pandas, and suggested that Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is officially neutral in the race, really preferred him.

Maloney has indeed been trying to bring pandas to New York’s zoo, a plan that would cost the city millions of dollars. On the other hand, Nadler’s health has been an issue in recent years. In 2019 he was on the verge of passing out during a public event with Mayor de Blasio.

Last November the NY Post ran a story quoting people who suggested it was time for Nadler to retire.

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“People are wondering when he would decide to retire,” said one associate, who noted that Democrats could lose control of the House of Representatives next year, with Nadler facing a prolonged future in the minority.

“He has a fighting spirit but maybe now is the time to exit,” the insider added…

Though the 74-year-old has long been a vigorous and vocal legislator, some say age and ill health have finally caught up with him. Two people who saw him recently said he could barely walk.

A poll published last Thursday found Rep. Maloney with an early lead.

The primary is still nearly three months away, but the poll from WPIX, Emerson College and The Hill shows Maloney with an early, 10-point advantage. Thirty-one percent of Democratic primary voters say they plan to cast their ballots for Maloney, while 21 percent are backing Nadler.

Another 36 percent of voters, however, remain undecided, meaning the race could shift toward either candidate in the coming months.

There’s still time and a lot of undecided voters left in this race. Yesterday, Nadler picked up the endorsement of the Working Families Party.

The ultra liberal Working Families Party has endorsed Rep. Jerrold Nadler over Rep. Carolyn Maloney on Wednesday in the campaign that pits two decades-entrenched Democratic incumbents and one-time allies against one another following redistricting.

“Jerry Nadler has been a powerful voice for reforming the Supreme Court, reimagining our justice system, and putting diplomacy and engagement over war and aggression,” said Sochie Nnaemeka, director of the New York Working Families Party in backing the House Judiciary Committee Chairman.

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Of course the good news is that one of these candidates is going to lose, something that no GOP challenger would have been able to pull off. The bad news is that only one of them can lose. (Well, technically, there is a another Democrat in the primary so they could both lose but it’s not likely to happen.) We’ll just have to wait a few more weeks to see who holds onto this seat.

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David Strom 1:20 PM | July 18, 2024
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