Rep. Jerry Nadler crushed fellow liberal House member Carolyn Maloney Tuesday in a bruising Democratic primary that forced Manhattan’s chattering class to choose between two longtime allies in a redrawn congressional district.
The lawmakers, who have spent a combined 60 years in the House of Representatives, clashed bitterly during the primary battle for New York’s 12th Congressional district, with Maloney’s camp floating a claim the 75-year-old Nadler was senile. After her loss, Maloney, 76, blamed “sexist systems and misogyny.”
“I’m really sad that we no longer have a woman representing Manhattan in Congress,” Maloney told dejected supporters Tuesday night.
As Nadler "addressed boosters on Upper West Side Tuesday night, the mood at Maloney party in Chelsea turned mutinous, as her supporters booed and jeered the House Judiciary Committee chair’s televised speech, with some yelling 'Traitor!'"https://t.co/mC2SKeKHrX via @nypmetro
— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) August 24, 2022
Nadler won just over 55% of the vote to Maloney’s 24.4%. Attorney Suraj Patel, who was challenging Maloney for a third consecutive cycle, had 19.1%
“I think the voters made their voices heard tonight,” Nadler said at his victory party on Manhattan’s tony Upper West Side.
The battle came about when lawmakers in New York’s Democrat-led state legislature screwed up attempts to gerrymander House districts and mashed key parts of Nadler’s old district with Maloney’s. It became an all-out war between Nadler, the portly chariman of the House Judiciary Committee, and Maloney, who chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.
“I think Carolyn and I have worked on a lot of things together but I think I have a more principled, progressive record,” Nadler told reporters Tuesday.
“She voted for war in Iraq, I voted against it,” he said. “She voted for the Patriot Act, I voted against it. She voted against the Iran deal, I voted for the Iran deal.”
The race became especially bitter after Nadler boasted in a magazine interview about bringing mass transit pork back to Manhattan and Maloney called him a liar.
“He was not at the groundbreaking, he was not at the ribbon-cutting, he was not at any of the meetings I had with the MTA,” she said of Nadler’s role in a key subway project. “We had hearings on it in the city, and he never came to any of them. He’s lying.”
Just last weekend, Maloney quoted a New York Post editorial that described Nadler as “this close to senile” after he mixed up presidents Trump and Bush in a debate while bragging about getting Trump impeached twice.
“They call him ‘senile,’” said Maloney. “They cite his performance at the debate where he couldn’t even remember who he impeached. He said he impeached Bush!”
Perhaps the two most powerful liberal voices in New York, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and The New York Times, both endorsed Nadler in the race.