14 key races to watch in New York’s House primaries

Maloney-Nadler race may not be the only one in which an incumbent loses

Democratic Reps. Jerrold Nadler and Carolyn B. Maloney face each other in the 12th District primary in New York on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Democratic Reps. Jerrold Nadler and Carolyn B. Maloney face each other in the 12th District primary in New York on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Posted August 22, 2022 at 4:03pm

New York voters head to the polls again Tuesday, just a few months after the state’s gubernatorial primary, to pick nominees for this fall’s congressional elections. At least one incumbent is set to lose, after the state lost a seat through reapportionment and the final map, drawn by a special master, pitted veteran Reps. Carolyn B. Maloney and Jerrold Nadler against each other. 

Here’s a rundown of key races around the Empire State.

Special elections

19th District: The special election to fill the seat vacated by the resignation of Democrat Antonio Delgado to become lieutenant governor is somewhat of a national bellwether, as Republican Marc Molinaro and Democrat Pat Ryan face off to complete the term. Outside cash has flowed in, including more than $1.2 million from the National Republican Congressional Committee to oppose Ryan and $515,000 spent by the allied Congressional Leadership Fund in support of Molinaro. VoteVets was the chief outside spending supporting Ryan, dropping $510,000. Molinaro and Ryan are both also on the ballot Tuesday, seeking nominations for full terms beginning January, but in different districts. 

23rd District: Former Rep. Tom Reed’s decision to leave Congress earlier this year prompted a special election in the 23rd District to complete the term, but because of the redistricting process the winner may serve in Congress for only a few months. Republican Joe Sempolinski, the chair of the Steuben County Republican Committee, is seeking the unexpired term but is not running in the same-day Republican primary for a full term beginning in January. Sempolinski is facing Tioga County Democratic Committee Chair Max Della Pia, who is running for a full term as well. 

Incumbents at risk

10th District: Rep. Mondaire Jones opted to run in this New York City district after fellow Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney chose to run in the 17th District. But Jones didn’t deter others from getting in the race, which features a crowded Democratic primary. Among the other candidates running are Daniel Goldman, a former prosecutor who was counsel for House Democrats during President Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial, City Council Member Carlina Rivera, state Rep. Yuh-Line Niou and former Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman. Jones and Niou have criticized Goldman, an heir to the Levi Strauss fortune, for spending so much of his own money on the race. Goldman’s Aug. 3 disclosure to the Federal Election Commission showed self-funding of nearly $2 million, and he added another $1 million on Aug. 10. Jones reported raising $3.6 million as of Aug. 3 and had $2 million on hand. 

12th District: The New York delegation will lose one of its most senior members with Reps. Carolyn B. Maloney and Jerrold Nadler both running in the same district. A third candidate who almost ousted Maloney in the 2020 primary, attorney Suraj Patel, is also on the ballot. Maloney has emphasized the need for women in Congress in the wake of the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade and her work on local priorities, while Nadler has played up his leadership of the Judiciary Committee and argued his loss would mean the state delegation might have no Jewish members. Maloney also chairs the Oversight and Investigations panel. 

17th District: Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, who chairs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, is facing a primary challenge from state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi. Maloney has the cash advantage and benefited from $650,000 spent by outside groups against Biaggi and $100,000 spent supporting him. 

16th District: Rep. Jamaal Bowman faces three primary challengers in his bid for a second term, including Westchester County legislator Vedat Gashi, who has earned endorsements from former Reps. Nita M. Lowey and Eliot Engel. Bowman defeated Engel in a primary two years ago. Bowman outraised Gashi, reporting having brought in $1.6 million as of Aug. 3 to Gashi’s $838,000. Outside groups — including the J Street Action Fund, which supports a two-state solution in Israel — spent $155,000 supporting Bowman. 

Open seats and fall matchups 

1st District: GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin’s decision to run for governor (he won the GOP nomination in June) opens up this seat. Democrat Bridget Fleming, a Suffolk County legislator, is unopposed in her party’s primary and was named a “Red to Blue” candidate by the DCCC. There’s a three-way race for the Republican nomination between Anthony Figliola, a lobbyist and former deputy supervisor for the town of Brookhaven; Michelle Bond, the CEO of the Association for Digital Asset Markets; and Nick LaLota, a Navy veteran and chief of staff to the Suffolk County Legislature. LaLota and Bond were both named NRCC “On the Radar” candidates. The Crypto Innovation PAC spent nearly $1.3 million supporting Bond, while Crypto Freedom PAC and Stand for New York Committee spent $1 million combined against LaLota.  Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the seat as Tilt Republican. 

3rd District: Democratic Rep. Tom Suozzi left this seat vacant when he unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for governor. Republican George Santos, who lost to Suozzi last cycle, is unopposed in that primary. On the Democratic side, five candidates are running: Melanie D’Arrigo, Jon Kaiman, Joshua Lafazan, Reema Rasool and Robert Zimmerman.

4th District: The race for a fourth Long Island open seat is happening after the retirement of Rep. Kathleen Rice and features a four-way Democratic primary between former Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen, Nassau County legislator Carrié Solages, Malverne Mayor Keith Corbett and surgeon Muzib Huq. The winner will face Anthony D’Esposito, a Hempstead town councilman. 

11th District: GOP Rep. Nicole Malliotakis is likely to face a rematch with former Rep. Max Rose, whom she defeated last cycle, in November. She faces a primary challenge from John Matland, a health care worker who says he lost his job because he didn’t get vaccinated against COVID-19. Rose faces two other candidates, Komi Agoda-Koussema and Brittany Debarros, in the Democratic primary. 

18th District: In addition to the 19th District special election, Ryan is running in the Democratic primary for a full term here. He’s likely to face Republican state Rep. Colin Schmitt in November. Ryan is a DCCC “Red to Blue” candidate, while Schmitt was named an NRCC “Young Gun.”

19th District: Molinaro is unopposed in the GOP primary for the nomination for the full term beginning in January. He’ll face either Jamie Cheney or Josh Riley, who are battling for the Democratic nomination. 

22nd District: With GOP Rep. John Katko retiring and Rep. Claudia Tenney seeking reelection in the 24th District, the 22nd District is open. Democrats Francis Conole, Sarah Hood, Chol Majok and Sam Roberts are all seeking the nomination. Protect Our Future PAC, a super PAC backed primarily by a cryptocurrency billionaire, has spent $510,000 supporting Conole. On the Republican side, the Congressional Leadership Fund, which has ties to House Republican leadership, spent $760,000 supporting Steve Wells and $190,000 against his opponent in the primary, Brandon Williams. 
23rd District: GOP Rep. Chris Jacobs’ decision not to seek reelection after announcing support for certain gun control policies opened up the GOP primary in this Buffalo district between Carl Paladino, the state’s 2010 Republican nominee for governor who is known for making incendiary remarks, and Nick Langworthy, the state party chairman. The American Liberty Action PAC spent $1 million boosting Langworthy and opposing Paladino. The GOP primary winner will face Max Della Pia, who is unopposed in the Democratic primary, in November.