Top Republicans who want to go to New York to flip the House
New York — of all places — is in the running as a swing state on Election Day.
Top Republicans in the House of Representatives say the road to their majority will pass through the Empire Statehaving moved out of a historic blue stronghold with ejector seats, they aim to go red.
“We believe that New York State is on top of the battlefield. We have a chance to win a bunch of seats in New York and we’ve invested nearly $10 million to make that happen,” said Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minnesota), chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Republicans need to flip just five seats to take control of the House and seize the speaker’s gavel from California Rep. Nancy Pelosi.
The chairman roamed the country on behalf of his candidates: “I am like a stone that returns to Earth, jumps through the atmosphere, every day we are in a different place.”
He hopes in the Empire State.
“You have a special situation in New York,” Emmer said. “Democrats control every level of government in New York and, frankly, voters are fed up with the results we’ve seen. That’s another reason I’m very confident we’ll have a good night in New York.”
A red wave is unlikely to sweep New York’s five boroughs, but the party is targeting a number of counties on Long Island and upstate New York.
The main target is Emmer’s Democratic colleague, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, a Scandal-scarred Hudson Valley congressman who currently heads the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
“Mike Lawler, I believe he’s going to beat Sean Patrick Maloney,” Emmer said. “[Maloney] has pushed radical pro-crime policing like cashless bail that allows violent criminals to literally terrorize innocent citizens at 9 o’clock at night and be back on the street committing more crimes by 9 a.m. the next morning.”
“Long Island could be clean,” Emmer added, boasting that he not only expected to retain GOP representative seats. Lee Zeldin and Andrew Garbarino, but also that he believes the party will flip the other two seats in Democratic hands, now open thanks to the retirement of Rep. Tom Suozzi and Kathleen Rice.
Emmer has repeatedly dismissed Democratic fundraising, which has outpaced GOP cash in nearly every hot New York race this cycle. Sam Maloney raised nearly five times as much money as Lawler.
“The issues they’re addressing are not issues people care about. They were burning money in the streets.” Emmer sniffed. “We never have their money. I would argue that it costs more to sell a lie than to sell the truth.”
The GOP is also playing defense in New York in several races, pouring in cash save Rep. Nicole Malliotakis in Staten Island and to hold on to an open upstate GOP seat that includes Democratic strongholds such as Utica and Binghamton.
Although Emmer was confident the majority was in the bag, he declined to speculate on how many seats the party could pick up in New York, which he visited last month.
“The energy is there,” Emmer said.
NY — 19 Columbia, Greene, Delaware, Broome, Tioga counties
Josh Riley (Democrat) — Challenger
Raised: $3.6 million
Marc Molinaro (Republican) — Challenger
Raised: $2.2 million
Latest poll: Riley up 5 points
This county stretches from Ithaca to the Massachusetts border. Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro is taking his second stab at the seat after losing a special election to Rep. Pat Ryan in August in what was considered a key race. With the redistricting, Ryan jumped to the neighboring 18th District, while Molinaro will face Riley, a local attorney from Endicott. The new 19th District leans Democratic and backed Joe Biden over President Trump by a 52-48 percent margin. But amid rising crime and inflation since Molinaro’s first loss, Emmer said Molinaro “will win.”
NY — 18 Poughkeepsie, Beekman, Kiryas Joel
Rep. Pat Ryan (Democrat) – Incumbent
Total raised: $4 million
Colin Schmitt (Republican) — Challenger
Total raised: $1.9 million
Latest poll: N/A
Ryan, a former Ulster County executive and Iraq War veteran, barely had time to measure curtains after his upset special election in August before having to face off again against a Republican challenger. He will be up against New Windsor Assemblyman Colin Schmitt. Both men have deep ties to the county and the race is one of the most competitive in the state. Schmitt drew on the GOP’s views on “reckless spending” and historic inflation. Ryan made abortion rights a central issue.
NY — 17 Hudson Valley, New City, Yorktown
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (Democrat) – Current
Total raised: $5 million
Mike Lawler (Republican) — Challenger
Total raised: $1.1 million
Latest poll: Lawler up 6 points
Maloney is the only member of the House Democratic leadership facing a competitive race this cycle, and knocking him out has become a top GOP priority. The the party threw away millions in the race to boost Rep. Mike Lawler. Maloney, a talented fundraiser and tenacious activist, alienated many allies when he swept into the 17th District after redistricting. Current Democrat in the region, freshman member of the “Squad”. Mondary Jones, eventually bounced back for a tough primary in Manhattan that he lost to the Levi Strauss & Co. heir. Dan Goldman. Maloney then returned the challenge of the awakened Senator Alessandra Biaggi. During his time in office, Maloney made a name for himself with recruiting violent ex-prisoners to the highest party positions, giving his personal trainer work in his staff in the House, and supporting cashless bail. “I think he’s gone. The meaning of the discussion has completely changed. He’s on the wrong side of the crime argument,” said Democratic strategist Hank Sheinkopf.
NY — 3 Oyster Bay, Glen Cove, North Hempstead, Northeast Queens.
Robert Zimmerman (Democrat) — Challenger
Total raised: $2.65 million
George Devolder-Santos (Republican) — Challenger
Total raised: $2.7 million
Latest poll: Zimmerman up 1 point
Voters in northwestern Long Island are locked in a bitter general election battle between Zimmerman, a suave public relations executive, and financier Devolder-Santos. They both are openly gay, a first in a major party congressional race in the US. Suozzi easily unseated Santos in 2020, but with his retirement, Republicans are increasingly hopeful that a red wave could push the ambitious Pole over the finish line. Zimmerman has sharply criticized Santos for his apparent opposition to abortion rights and Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure bill, while Santos says his opponent had an agenda that “doesn’t speak to the issues we have today.” Sheinkopf said. “Zimmerman was an abortionist until a week ago, suddenly he became a criminal. That tells me he’s in trouble.”
NY — 4 Hempstead, Freeport, Long Beach
Laura Gillen (Democrat) — Challenger
Total raised: $1.487 million
Anthony D’Esposito (Republican) — Challenger
Total raised: $1.05 million
Latest poll: N/A
Voters in southwest Long Island will lose Democratic Rep. Kathleen Rice, offering another open seat for Republicans to grab. The race pits Gillen, a former Hempstead town supervisor, against D’Esposito, a retired NYPD detective. The district has been in Democratic control for two decades, but Long Island Republicans are hoping for a big turnout and that enthusiasm for native son Zeldin could lead to a larger turnout. D’Esposito was named in at least three lawsuits during his time with the NYPD that cost the city more than $80,000 in settlement payments.
NY — 25 Rochester
Rep. Joseph Morelle (Democrat) – Incumbent
Total raised: $1.9 million
La’Ron Singletary (Republican) — Challenger
Total raised: $572,000
Latest poll: Morelle up by 4 points
Few expected the Rochester-dominated district to be competitive early in the cycle. Incumbent Morelle has served as the district’s representative since 2018 — taking over from Louise Slaughter, who held the seat as a Democrat for more than three decades. Morelle faces a stiff challenge from Singletary, the former Rochester police chief. The political newcomer relied heavily on his law and order credentials and spoke of the need to strengthen the police force and end cashless bail. “Morelle has never been on anyone’s map, but what we’ve seen recently is that this headquarters is in play.” Emmer said.
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