There’s a lot at stake in this election. Given that Democrats dominate in most of the city’s congressional districts, such as NY-12 and NY-14, the winner of the primary is almost guaranteed to represent the district in Congress.
In addition to the competitive Republican race in Staten Island between Dan Donovan and Michael Grimm, Queens and Brooklyn have some interesting battles to consider.
Congressman Joseph Crowley, the leader of the Queens County Democratic Party and seen as a likely contender for the next speaker of the House, is facing his first primary opponent in more than a decade. He’s up against insurgent challenger Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a former Bernie Sanders organizer from the Bronx.
The 14th Congressional District encompasses Jackson Heights, Corona, Astoria in Queens and Morris Park, Parkchester and Pelham Bay in the Bronx.
Ocasio-Cortez has positioned herself as the left-leaning candidate and a champion of the working class in the district. Crowley has leaned on his experience, his leadership in Washington and Democratic unity to face Donald Trump.
Another primary race to watch is the 12th Congressional District, which includes the east side of Manhattan, Long Island City and Greenpoint. Longtime incumbent Carolyn Maloney is taking on hotel executive, professor and former Obama campaign veteran Suraj Patel.
Patel, 34, has argued that the district needs new representation. In a televised debate, he went after Maloney’s previous anti-vaccination comments, her vote to authorize the 2003 Iraq War, and her past support of Bill Clinton’s 1994 crime bill.
Maloney also went on the offensive, criticizing Patel for reported labor violations at his hotel business and for claiming a tax exemption for a home in Indiana, even though he has lived in the East Village for 12 years.
These tense congressional primary races are just two examples of why it’s important to cast your vote on June 26. Make your voices heard and show up on Primary Day.