Progressive, moderate Democrats battle in New York primaries

Politics

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – AUGUST 23: Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) speaks to the media after voting in his upper West Side district on August 23, 2022 in New York City. Nadler, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, is facing off against fellow democrat and friend Representative Carolyn Maloney for New York’s 12th Congressional District after a redistricting change this summer. Attorney and former Obama staffer Suraj Patel, a 38-year-old progressive, is also running. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

(NewsNation) — Democrats have been pitted against each other in tight primary races across the state of New York, thanks in large part to controversial redistricting that forced incumbent Democrats into the same districts.

Progressives are also itching to unseat moderates in Democratic primary elections across the state, potentially changing the direction of not just New York politics, but the national Democratic Party as well.

“New Yorkers are hungry for change. Change is on the ballot,” said congressional candidate Suraj Patel.

Change is on the ballot in the 12th District, where Patel is running against two Democratic heavyweights, Rep. Jerry Nadler and Rep. Carolyn Maloney, who are now pitted against each other after serving side-by-side for 30 years.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, one of New York’s most influential politicians, endorsed Nadler in that race.

Nadler is styling himself as a more “principled” option than Maloney.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – AUGUST 22: Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., who has represented New York City’s Upper East Side since 1993, speaks to supporters on Aug. 22. Maloney is facing Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., who has represented the Upper West Side since 1992. Both candidates will face off on Tuesday as New York is holding its second round of primary elections after voting in June for statewide races. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

“I’d say that I’m the more principled progressive. I mean, Carolyn and I have worked on a lot of things together, but I think I have the more principled, progressive record,” Nadler said.

More than a dozen candidates have lined up to secure the empty seat in New York’s new 10th District in a race that also has Dem progressives and moderates exchanging blows.

Progressives have been eager to attack Levi Strauss heir Dan Goldman, who was endorsed by the New York Times, for not supporting progressive issues such as universal health care.

The progressive wing of the party has put up two of its rising stars, Yuh Line-Niou and Carlina Rivera, to compete in the race. They’ve been campaigning on issues close to progressives such as abortion rights.

“We cannot have anyone who is wavering on abortion,” Rivera said of Goldman. “Someone who has given his fourth position in as little as three weeks.”

WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 15: U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., share a moment after a press event on reproductive rights in front of the U.S. Capitol July 15. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Rep. Mondaire Jones, who received an endorsement from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is also running in the 10th District.

The weight of Pelosi’s endorsement will be challenged in New York’s 17th District, where Rep. Sean Maloney, who is backed by Pelosi, takes on the younger and more progressive state Sen. Allessandra Biaggi, who has the backing of Rep. Alexandria Occasio-Cortez.

Health care again is the major split between these two candidates, with Biaggi supporting a single-payer system while Maloney favors something similar to the current system.

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