The Republican Congressional Leadership Fund aimed their financial fire to target Representative and Democrat Congressional Committee Chair Sean Patrick Maloney, pouring millions into the New York 17 campaign. For all the GOP missteps this cycle, they got this one right. Republican Michael Lawler has defeated Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney 51-49; a razor-thin margin, but still a winning one.
From The New York Post:
Republican Michael Lawler maintained a slender lead over one of the most powerful Democrats in Congress, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, in a race that went to the wire early Wednesday morning.
Just 3,000 votes of the more than 278,000 cast separated the two men, who spent the summer and fall campaigning to represent the 17th Congressional District, which covers much of Westchester and the lower Hudson Valley.
“We are not yet ready to declare victory, but with a few more votes counted, we are poised to make history,” Lawler told supporters, acknowledging the closeness of the race, at his election night party in Rockland County.
On Wednesday, Rep. Maloney conceded the race, securing the win for Lawler.
Thirty years ago was the last time that a sitting House campaign chairman lost reelection, and it was a Republican. National Republican Congressional Committee Chair Guy Vander Jagt was primaried in 1992. It has been 50 years since a sitting chair lost a general election– that was California Democratic Rep. Jim Corman.
The House GOP’s Congressional Leadership Fund poured millions of dollars into Lawler’s bid to take down Maloney, who as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was responsible to help elect other Democrats. His ouster from office was a symbolic scalp for Republicans.
Damaging stories about Maloney’s eyebrow-raising hires for his legislative and campaign work did not help his cause.
Also, the defining moment was when Maloney lectured his constituents to stock up on Chef Boyardee in order to deal with soaring inflation.
“Well, I grew up in a family where if the gas price went up, the food price went down, so by this time of the week we’d be eating Chef Boyardee if that budget wasn’t gonna change. So, that’s what families have to do.”
God don’t like ugly, and voters despise arrogance. I suspect this was the kill shot that finished off Maloney’s congressional career. At least this time around. Feckless Democrats, like dead voters, seem to keep coming back to life at the worst possible time.
The Lawler campaign was smart to pounce on this, and it paid off. He has now contributed to moving the House closer to the majority column.
“We’ll have to wait a little bit longer for the voters of this district to serve Sean Patrick Maloney the best dish of Chef Boyardee, and I can promise you, it will be served cold,” Lawler chided early Wednesday morning.
That’s savage. Let’s hope Congressman-Elect Lawler keeps that energy going after he is sworn into the House of Representatives.