In a stunning defeat for Democrats, five-term New York Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney has conceded to Republican state Assemblyman Mike Lawler in the closely-watched contest for the 17th Congressional District.
Speaking at a press conference at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) headquarters in Washington, DC on Wednesday morning, Nov. 9, Maloney said while he doesn’t like to lose, his opponent won the race “fair and square.”
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The press conference came just minutes after Maloney called Lawler to concede the race, Politico reports.
“So I’m going to step aside,” Maloney said. “And I had a good run. I have an incredible husband of 30 years, three great kids, and we have been blessed beyond anything I could’ve imagined as a young man.”
He went on to thank his constituents.
“I’m deeply grateful to the people of the Hudson Valley for giving me their voice and their vote in Washington for 10 years,” he said.
Maloney said he wouldn’t “whine” about the results and would handle his loss “the right way.”
“And the right thing to do is to say the other guy won, to wish him well, and to pledge my support, and that’s what I’m doing,” he said.
As for his future aspirations, Maloney said he would take pride in his service and would talk to his family about what comes next.
Lawler later retweeted a video of Maloney’s concession with the caption: “Humble in victory, gracious in defeat.”
“I want to thank @RepSeanMaloney for his decade of service to the Hudson Valley and for his gracious call to me this morning,” Lawler wrote.
“Campaigns are tough and he was a tough, and worthy opponent. I wish Sean and Randy well in their future endeavors.”
With 95 percent of the vote counted, Lawler was leading Maloney 50.6 to 49.4 percent as of Wednesday afternoon, the Associated Press reports.
Lawler’s victory makes Maloney the first DCCC chair to lose a re-election bid since Rep. Jim Corman was unseated in California in 1980.
A former deputy town supervisor in Orangetown, Lawler was elected to the New York State Assembly in 2020, representing the 97th District in southern Rockland County.
He previously served as executive director of the New York State Republican Party and was an advisor to former Westchester County Executive Rob Astoniro.
On the campaign trail, Lawler attacked Maloney over crime and inflation, and criticized him in an October 2022 debate for supporting the Inflation Reduction Act.
Maloney decried Lawler as a “MAGA” candidate, criticizing his position on limiting abortion, and has alleged racism and antisemitism following political ads that supported Lawler’s campaign. Lawler has denied the accusations.
The 17th District includes all of Rockland County and portions of central and northwestern Westchester County.
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