Lawler Defeats Maloney in Tight Race for NY-17

By Matis Glenn

Lawler speaking in Rockland County on Wednesday. (Hamodia)

ROCKLAND COUNTY, N.Y. — New York State Assemblyman Mike Lawler has defeated incumbent Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, in a tight and closely watched race for congressional district 17 in New York.

The district covers the entire Rockland County, as well as parts of Westchester, and was handily carried by President Joe Biden in the 2020 election by 10 points.

Maloney called Lawler on Wednesday morning to concede, according to Maloney’s spokesperson, Mia Ehrenberg. Lawler had 50.6% of the vote to Maloney’s 49.4% with 95% of votes counted, according to Associated Press.

It was a humiliating setback for Maloney, who chairs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the political arm of the caucus. Maloney was unable to capitalize on high-profile campaign visits by heavyweight Democrats like former President Bill Clinton and stave off Republicans and their super-PAC supporters, who pumped millions of dollars into the race to oust the 56-year-old incumbent and send a symbolic message to the Democratic Party.

“Campaigns are tough, and [Maloney] was a very tough and worthy opponent,” Lawler said in a victory speech Wednesday afternoon. “There was over $20 million spent in this election. I did not recognize myself at times. But through it all I think we were able to put forth a message and a vision for the future of this district and this community.”

Lawler with Orthodox Jewish supporters just before giving his victory speech Wednesday afternoon outside the Rockland County Courthouse. (Hamodia)

Lawler, a 36-year-old former political consultant, zeroed in on worries over crime in the New York City suburbs and focused on economic issues. He will be one of the more moderate Republicans in the House, as a supporter of labor and a social liberal.

The two top House Republicans, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Minority Whip Steve Scalise appeared in person to stump for Lawler.

“I don’t like to lose,” Maloney said Wednesday, “but my opponent won this race, and he won it fair and square. And that means something, and so I’m going to step aside.”

“I had a good run,” said Maloney, who served five terms in Congress.

The Jewish community’s vote weighed heavily on the mind of Democrats, to the point that both President Biden and former President Clinton reached out to Rebbes to petition their support for Maloney.

“Mike, as I have noted in the past, is very popular among rank and file in the Orthodox Jewish community. It’s this relationship that gave him the winning edge,” Yossi Gestetner, a current events commentator who supported Lawler, told Hamodia.

Both candidates had received support from members of the Orthodox community.

Bloomberg contributed to this report.

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