By: Hellen Zaboulani
The district maps newly drawn by a court appointed special master have left Democrats pitted against each other for the upcoming primary races.
As reported by the NY Post, two Democratic party heavy weights will face off for the same house seat. Manhattan Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Jerrold Nadler are both running for the same seat in the new 12th Congressional district. Nadler is currently the incumbent in the Upper West Side representing New York’s 10th congressional district since 2013, with a total of 15 terms in Congress under his belt. He has also chaired the House Judiciary Committee since 2019.
Maloney is the U.S. representative for New York’s current 12th congressional district, which includes the Upper East side. She has served the district since 2013, and she previously served New York’s 14th congressional district from 1993 to 2013. Since 2019, she has also served as the chair of the House Oversight Committee, having been appointed by Nancy Pelosi. The two Democratic politicians will face off against each other thanks to thanks to the party’s gerrymandering efforts gone wrong. Attorney Suraj Patel is also running as the third candidate in the race. “The 12th congressional district is a horrible situation,” said Laura Bierman, executive director of the New York League of Women Voters. “The Legislature overreached and lost control of the redistricting process. This is a result of the legislature violating the constitution.”
Democratic lawmakers had attempted to redraw district maps to add congressional seats for the party. Earlier this year, however, their plans were foiled when a court deemed it as illegal partisan gerrymandering and threw out their redistricted maps. New maps were then drawn without their input by an unaffiliated special master appointed by the court. In the new maps, Nadler’s Upper West Side base was merged with Maloney’s Upper East side to create a new 12th Congressional District. Nadler immediately announced that he would run for the 12th district against Maloney, instead of his redrawn 10th district, which no longer included the UWS, but rather took on neighborhoods in Brooklyn which he has never represented.
“The Democratic leadership could have stepped in to intervene — but they didn’t,” said political consultant Hank Sheinkopf, referring to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others. He added New York democrats would undoubtedly lose clout as one of these senior members is destined to lose. “New York is going to lose power. The Democrats have only themselves to blame. They thought they could get away with gerrymandering. The court is the law, not the Democrats,” he said.
As per the Post, House Democrats are at a loss regarding how to take sides in the race, and many have refrained so far from endorsing either candidate for the dreaded Aug. 23 primary contest. Some organizations, including Planned Parenthood and the National Abortions Rights League, have opted to endorse both candidates. Several elected officials have unwittingly taken sides one way or another.
“Both Maloney and Nadler have proved excellent representatives and are both my friends. Shame to lose either of them,” Manhattan state Sen. Liz Krueger, the power senate finance committee chairwoman, told The Post Monday.