New York Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney became the first Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) chair to lose his seat in 40 years when he conceded to Republican challenger Mike Lawler on Wednesday.
Lawler, a first-term assemblyman, focused on crime and inflation to knock off the incumbent in the typically liberal 17th congressional district of New York.
Lawler, as of Wednesday afternoon, is at
“I don’t like to lose, but my opponent won this race. He won it fair and square. That means something,” the big money-backed Democrat said Wednesday. “The right thing to do is say the other guy won and wish him well.”
Early in the race, Maloney had a big advantage in cash on hand, with $2.4 million compared to Lawler’s $435,588.
The Democrat was expected to win re-election before the race tightened in late October. That’s when the DCCC confirmed it was spending $605,000 on ads attacking Lawler.
Millions of GOP-aligned dollars were used to help back Lawler pick off Maloney.
“Congressman Maloney was very gracious. He said I ran a great race and deserved to win. I was very humbled,” Lawler said after the win.
The GOP seemed hopeful they could take the deep-blue state of New York by knocking off Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul, too, but fell short. The Democratic stronghold proved too much for Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin, despite the state’s crime issues and continued inflation.
“I will lead with strength and compassion, not anger and fear,” Hochul said following her win, adding, “the lesson of tonight’s victory is that given the choice, New Yorkers refused to go backward in our long march toward progress.”