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Newly redrawn New York congressional districts are projected to put the head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, as Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., said he would rather a freshman colleague rather than remain in the new version of his current district.
Maloney said that instead of running for an eleventh term in New York’s 18th district – which under the new map will be more competitive in a general election than before – he will run for the 17th district’s seat, currently occupied by Rep. Mondaire Jones, D-N.Y, Politico reported. This has led to concerns of conflicts of interest, as well as whether Maloney can remain committed to his role as DCCC chief during a primary battle.
“You cannot have the chair of the DCCC involved in a Democratic primary with an incumbent colleague and expect that person to remain objective about their No. 1 job, which is incumbent protection,” Rep. Kathleen Rice, D-N.Y., told the outlet.
A draft of the new map came out earlier this week, and a final version will not be set in stone until Friday. While Maloney made his intentions known, it remains to be seen what Jones will do. If he opts not to remain in his district in an attempt to ward off Maloney, he could challenge a fellow Black, progressive, first-term congressman, Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y.
If he goes up against Maloney, Jones would be facing the head of the group that allocates dollars to battleground contests across the country.
“It seems like there’s a conflict,” Rep. Ritchie Torres, D-N.Y., another Black progressive congressman, told Politico. “New York 17 is primarily in Congressman Jones’ district. He should be regarded as the incumbent.”
The DCCC is not concerned about Maloney’s ability to challenge a sitting member while doing his job as head of the organization.
“Rep. Maloney fought harder than anyone to get maps that reflect the will of the people of New York, even at his own expense, and continues to fight against this illegitimate process,” DCCC spokesperson Chris Hayden said. “He has proven he can lead the DCCC without his own race interfering and he will continue to do so.”
This is not the only case where the redrawn map is pitting House members against each other. If the latest draft is adopted as the official map on Friday, it would put House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., and House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., in the same district, setting up a potential showdown between two veteran House leaders.