New York Representative Sean Patrick Maloney, the head of the House Democrats’ campaign arm responsible for protecting vulnerable incumbents in his party, has admitted his reelection race in a phone call with Republican Mike Lawler, a spokesman for Maloney’s campaign said. Wednesday morning.
NBC News has not yet made a projection in the match.
More than anything else, Maloney’s defeat would mark a symbolic victory for the GOP, especially given that the Democrats appeared to cut the significant losses and dodge a “red wave” that many Republicans had predicted.
Maloney’s concession comes after the Democratic super-PACs and the Democratic Congressional campaign committee, which Maloney heads, launched a last-minute rescue mission to try and save him by pumping hundreds of thousands of dollars into the race in the final two weeks of the campaign.
Maloney, who had traveled across the country campaigning and raising money for vulnerable colleagues, had to rush back to his Hudson Valley district to fight for his own political survival.
In the end, though, Maloney appears unable to stave off an avalanche of GOP spending and attack ads from Lawler, a state councilor, who cast the Democrat as weak on crime because of his past support for ending justice. bail for those in prison.
In a briefing with reporters on Wednesday, Maloney trumpeted his party’s strong showing on Election Day, declaring, “Last night the House Democrats stood our ground.” The results indicate that “American democracy still has a beating heart,” he said.
While acknowledging that he is an extremely competitive person, Maloney said this was not the time to sulk about his defeat.
“I don’t like to lose. But my opponent won this race and he won it fairly. And that means something. And so I’m going to step aside, and I had a good run…” Maloney told reporters. “I’m not going to whine about it. I’m going to do this the right way. And the right thing is to say the other guy won, wish him well and promise my support and that’s what I do.
“And I’m going to be proud of my service and then I’m going to talk to my family about what comes next.”
Republicans celebrated the impeachment of the Democrats’ campaign manager.
Mike’s win just sent SHOCK WAVES across the country when he FIRED failed DCCC chairman Sean Patrick Maloney!! GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, RN.Y., tweeted early Wednesday morning.
At an election night party in Washington overnight, GOP leader Kevin McCarthy also piled up: “In New York, we defeated Democrats’ campaign chairman Sean Patrick Maloney, which will be the first time in over 40 years that a DCCC- president loses his reelection.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi thanked Maloney in a statement of her own Wednesday, crediting him for helping House Democrats exceed expectations on Tuesday and calling him “an outstanding leader of the DCCC.”
“Republicans may have had a Pyrrhic victory with this race, as it has clearly come at the expense of other potential Republican victories,” Pelosi said.
Maloney’s impeachment will have bigger implications for the House Democratic Caucus: It closes the door to a possible bid from Maloney for a second term as DCCC chairman. And it will reignite a fierce debate among House Democrats about whether one of their vulnerable members should be put in charge of the campaign operation.
Two years ago, in the latter part of the campaign, Democrats had to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars defending then-DCCC chairman Cheri Bustos of Illinois, another “frontline” member like Maloney. She survived her run for reelection but chose to retire just months later and cede her seat in the Quad Cities to the Republicans.
Two California Democrats, Representatives Tony Cardenas and Ami Bera, have previously expressed interest in running for DCCC chairman in the 2024 cycle. Cardenas narrowly lost to Maloney in the campaign president race two years ago, and Bera was one of Maloney’s top lieutenants at the DCCC, charged with protecting vulnerable incumbents.
Cardenas represents a deep blue district in Southern California, while Bera has been targeted by Republicans in his district of Sacramento.
Maloney, a former Clinton White House aide, made history in 2012 as the first openly gay person to be elected to Congress from New York.
But he sparked anger from fellow Democrats earlier this year after New York’s realignment process when he decided to move into a neighboring district, the 17th, that was slightly friendlier to Democrats than his old 18th district. That decision forced freshman Rep. Mondaire Jones, DN.Y., one of the first openly gay black men in Congress, to run in a neighborhood miles away in New York City where Jones failed to win his party’s primary.
Moments after Maloney admitted his race, Jones tweeted a single word: “Yikes.”
Kate Santaliz contributed.