Nadler Defeats Maloney in Tight New York House Democratic Primary

Both incumbents forced to face each other due to redistricting

Nadler Defeats Maloney in Tight New York House Democratic Primary
Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) speaks to the media after voting in his upper West Side district in New York City on Aug. 23, 2022. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Mimi Nguyen Ly

Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) is projected to prevail in a rare incumbent-vs-incumbent Democratic primary race to represent New York's 12th Congressional District, defeating fellow Democrat Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.).

Legacy outlets NBC, CBS and CNN called the race before 9:35 p.m. local time.

Maloney is a longtime incumbent who has represented New York City's Upper East Side since 1993, including its 12th Congressional District since 2013.
Nadler has also served in Congress since 1993, representing New York City's Upper West Side, including its 10th Congressional District since 2013.

He was forced to face Maloney due to a court-mandated redistricting process in New York State that put his home base on the west side of Manhattan together with Maloney’s on the east side. Neither of the lawmakers were willing to run in another part of the city.

Friends for many years, the two Democrats lamented having to run against each other. Maloney said at a recent debate that she didn't want to run against Nadler, who she called a friend and ally "for years."

'Unfortunately, we were drawn into the same district," she said.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) speaks to supporters in New York City, on Aug. 22, 2022. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) speaks to supporters in New York City, on Aug. 22, 2022. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

In his victory speech, Nadler said he and Maloney “have spent much of our adult lives working together to better both New York and our nation."

"I speak for everyone in this room tonight when I thank her for her decades of service to our city," he said.

Nadler also defeated Suraj Patel, a 38-year-old attorney and former Obama staffer who has now failed to advance out of a Democratic congressional primary in three straight tries.

Nadler, 75, currently chairs the House Judiciary Committee. In that position, he led both of the Democrats' impeachment efforts against former President Donald Trump.

He received campaign endorsements from The New York Times and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) in the weeks leading up to the primary.

Maloney, 76, is the first woman to chair the House Oversight and Reform Committee. She is known for her longtime advocacy for Sept. 11 first responders seeking compensation for diseases they attribute to contamination from the destruction of the World Trade Center.

Few Policy Differences

Nadler, Maloney, and Patel had few policy differences; all support access to abortion, the Green New Deal, and tighter restrictions on gun ownership.

Patel argued that New York needed new representation after Nadler’s and Maloney’s generation failed to achieve Democratic goals like codifying Roe v. Wade. But Nadler and Maloney asserted that their seniority in Congress brings clout that benefits New Yorkers.

Maloney said that as a woman, she would fight harder than Nadler to ensure access to abortion.

Meanwhile, when asked how to distinguish himself from Maloney, Nadler cited his votes against the Iraq War and the Patriot Act, and in favor of the Iran nuclear deal. Maloney had voted the other way on all three.

The primary winner will face Republican Michael Zumbluskas in the Nov. 8 general election.

The Associated Press contributed to this report