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Nadler Beats Maloney in New York; Florida Sets Up Crist-DeSantis

(Bloomberg) -- US Representative Jerrold Nadler beat fellow incumbent Representative Carolyn Maloney in a race that pit the two 30-year congressional veterans against one another, and Levi Strauss heir Dan Goldman took the party’s nomination over a tag-team of progressive challengers in brownstone Brooklyn in a pair of closely watched New York Democratic primary races.

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The 12th Congressional District matchup on Manhattan’s Upper West Side and Upper East Side featured two powerful committee chairs: Nadler, 75, on the Judiciary Committee and Maloney, 76, on Oversight. A third candidate, Suraj Patel, is a 38-year-old former aide to President Barack Obama who touted himself as a generational alternative.

Nadler had 55% of the vote to Maloney’s 24% and Patel’s 19%.

“New Yorkers get to choose who best represents the people and values of this city. The voters made themselves clear tonight,” Nadler said in a victory speech at the Arte Cafe on the Upper West Side. “Carolyn Maloney and I have spent much of our adult lives working together for the betterment of both New York and the country.”

Read More: New York’s Redistricting Chaos Creates House Election Intrigue

Maloney, in her concession speech, said she continued to face misogyny after a 30-year congressional career. “I’m really saddened that we no longer have a woman representing Manhattan in Congress, and we cannot and will not give up. The fight continues,” she said.

In the district to the south, New York’s 10th Congressional District wasn’t called until after midnight -- nearly two hours after Goldman claimed an early victory. Goldman, who was the lawyer for House Democrats during former President Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial, was leading by about 1,300 votes, or 2.1%, over State Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou.

Representative Mondaire Jones, who moved from his Hudson Valley district to New York City because of redistricting, came in third.

Upstate in the Hudson Valley, Representative Sean Patrick Maloney, who is leading the Democratic effort to keep control of the House, trounced progressive state Senator Alessandra Biaggi, by more than 34 percentage points, according to AP.

Biaggi, the granddaughter of former US Representative Mario Biaggi, was endorsed by New York Democratic US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

In a special election to fill the rest of former Representative Antonio Delgado’s term, Democratic Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan defeated Republican Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro with a campaign focused on abortion rights. The Hudson Valley and Catskills district is seen as a key indicator of whether Democrats can hold ground they won in 2020.

Redistricting Battles

New York’s congressional primaries are among the most-watched in the country, with a chaotic redistricting battle pushing back the primary and setting up a rare incumbent-versus-incumbent battle.

The late August races in New York and Florida mark the two biggest states left on the 2022 primary calendar going into a midterm election that will decide control of Congress and governor’s offices in 36 states.

It’s been a cycle dominated by intra-party divisions on both sides -- Republicans over their loyalty to Trump and Democrats over how far left the party should govern. And it’s been intensified by redrawn political maps that have most members of Congress running in new districts.

Both Nadler and Maloney relied heavily on key constituencies. Nadler campaigned as the last remaining Jewish member of the New York delegation. Maloney’s first campaign ad highlighted her role as a pioneering woman in the House and ended with the tag line “You cannot send a man to do a woman’s job.” Democrats outnumber Republicans by a 7-to-1 margin in the city, and the primary winner will be heavily favored in November.

The race was marked by low turnout in a primary held in the dead of August when many New Yorkers are taking summer vacation. As of 6 p.m., Tuesday only about 10% of eligible voters had cast ballots, according to the New York City Board of Elections.

“It’s terrible,” said Alice Kane, a lawyer in Manhattan’s Midtown East neighborhood, about the redistricting fracas that delayed the primary date from June to August.

Kane said she voted for Maloney in New York’s 12th Congressional district, but that the choice between the two was a tough one. “I think it’s a shame we had to pit Nadler against her. We had to make a choice. It’s hard.”

Leslie Lewis, 49, a business owner who lives near Lincoln Center in Manhattan said she voted for Patel because of his high-energy and intellect. She said Maloney, Nadler and Patel were all good candidates and that it was “shocking” they all got thrown into the same district. She voted for Patel because he was a “breath of fresh air” compared to Nadler and Maloney, who have served in Congress for three decades.

Florida Races

In Florida, US Representative Charlie Crist -- a former Republican -- will be the Democratic candidate to challenge incumbent Governor Ron DeSantis in a race that could have implications for the 2024 presidential election.

Crist, who served a term as Florida governor from 2007 to 2011, defeated state agriculture commissioner Nikki Fried in a primary Tuesday to take on DeSantis in November. The incumbent governor has emerged as one of the leading Republican alternatives to Trump.

The Associated Press called the Democratic primary shortly after the final polls in the state closed with Crist leading Fried by more than 25 percentage points.

Representative Val Demings handily won a four-way Democratic primary to run against Republican Senator Marco Rubio.

Republican Representative Matt Gaetz, a staunch Trump ally, defeated Marine Corps veteran Mark Lombardo Florida’s 1st Congressional District. Gaetz is under investigation for sex trafficking after sending online payments to a 17-year-old girl who was his travel companion. Gaetz denies the allegations.

In Florida’s 11th District incumbent Republican Representative Daniel Webster defeated far-right activist Laura Loomer 50.7% to 44.5%.

In Oklahoma, the only other state holding elections Tuesday, Representative Markwayne Mullin won a special runoff election to become the Republican nominee for the Senate seat now held by the retiring Jim Inhofe.

Mullin had Trump’s endorsement over former Oklahoma House Speaker T.W. Shannon, and will face former Representative Kendra Horn, a Democrat, in November.

(Adds results of special election in 8th paragraph)

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