Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, the chairman of the House Democrats’ campaign arm, said in a concession speech on Wednesday that he’s “not going to whine” over his loss to Republican Mike Lawler in a hotly contested New York House race.
Maloney, who’s served in the House for close to a decade, conceded his race in New York’s 17th Congressional District against Lawler, a state assemblyman. Maloney’s defeat in the House district was seen as a stinging loss for the powerful Democrat tasked with defending his party’s seats in the House and marked the first time since 1980 that the chairman of either party’s campaign arm lost a general election.
“I’m deeply grateful to the people of the Hudson Valley for giving me their voice and their vote in Washington for 10 years. Not going to whine about it,” Maloney, who appeared at a loss for words, said in his remarks.
“I’m gonna do this the right way, and the right thing to do is to say the other guy won and wish him well and pledge my support, and that’s what I’m doing. And I’m gonna take pride in my service, and I’m gonna talk to my family about what comes next,” he said.
Earlier this year, after New York’s new congressional lines had been approved, Maloney decided to forgo running in his current district, New York’s 18th Congressional District, and instead run in the 17th. The move was considered controversial because it required Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.), who currently represents the 17th Congressional District, to run in the 10th to avoid an awkward member-on-member primary, though Jones later lost his primary.
But House Republicans saw the move as a key pickup opportunity given that it’s a majority-new district for Maloney, which required him to introduce himself to the district’s constituents and later required an ad buy of more than $600,000 from his committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, as millions were poured into the race in an effort to oust Maloney.
Maloney’s loss is bittersweet for the powerful Democrat given his party has so far appeared to perform better than expected in key battleground House races.