OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Sean Patrick Maloney was defeated by Republican State Assemblyman Mike Lawler in what many are calling a “historic upset.” Lawler, who ran his campaign on fighting back against crime and boosting the economy, defeated Maloney, who has first elected in 2013.
“I think he took it for granted,” Lawler said in an interview with Fox News on Wednesday. “As recently as a month ago he was traveling to Paris, London, and Geneva to raise money for the DCCC. He did not start campaigning seriously in the district until a couple of weeks ago. You have to be able to find a compromise, and you have to be able to work across the aisle.”
“Maloney has come under fire in recent days for suggesting that families struggling with the impacts of inflation eat Chef Boyardee. These comments come on the heels of Maloney’s frequent trips to high-end European cities over the summer to raise money for House Democrats. Lawler made crime a key focus of his campaign, running in a district where over half of the households have a cop, veteran, or first responder living in them, according to Lawler,” Fox News reported.
“Despite this big-ticket win, the upset was one of only a handful of House pickups for Republicans on a night where many political analysts and polls predicted a red wave. The balance of power in the House is still in play with many races still uncalled. Lawler still believes it is feasible to tamp down inflation and address crime, despite a potentially slim Republican majority in the House,” the outlet added.
A sitting House campaign committee chair has not lost re-election since 1992, which highlights how big of an upset this is.
FLIP ALERT: Michael Lawler (R) defeats Sean Patrick Maloney (D-inc) in New York's 17th Congressional District
⦿ This seat is flipped from 🔵➡️🔴
⦿ NY-17 is Biden +10.1% seat pic.twitter.com/3N19NJd40U
— InteractivePolls (@IAPolls2022) November 9, 2022
Representative Sean Patrick Maloney conceded to @lawler4ny in New York’s 17th congressional district, making Lawler the first Republican to defeat a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman in 40 years. https://t.co/LAbxJa3U4h pic.twitter.com/6SmyDfUpWX
— National Review (@NRO) November 10, 2022
During an appearance on MSNBC, former Joe Biden administration official Symone Sanders tore into Maloney and his campaign’s message, which she argued cost him re-election.
Host Chris Jansing asked: “And Symone, let me go to you because this was a race, for Democrats obviously the symbolism of it, right, of the guy who is in charge not — not winning. But she touched on something we haven’t talked about yet. Which is gerrymandering and the impact it has had. And a complicating factor, isn’t it, when you are really looking at what are the takeaways from this — this unexpected — better night than expected for Democrats.”
“I think so. I mean, look, in Ohio folks were running on maps that were not — running on maps that were challenged. In Florida, folks were running on maps that Governor DeSantis drew himself, right?” Sanders began.
“And in — and in New York, folks were running on maps that Democrats drew that looked crazy. Let me tell you the Democratic strategists and people on the ground in New York, it is a problem what happened with these maps. And Sean Patrick Maloney, let’s tell you, he ended up in a district that Mondaire Jones was representing, current member of Congress. He — Sean Patrick Maloney decided to run in the district that Mondaire Jones was in, forced Mondaire Jones out. He went down the road, Mondaire Jones did, to run in a different district. He lost. Sean — I said it before and I’ll say it again, Sean Patrick Maloney should have led by example and stayed out of that race,” Sanders added.