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New York’s congressional district shuffle tested in midterm primary

With a new district map in play, two key congressional districts had no incumbent in the race, while a third pitted two longtime colleagues against each other.

NEW YORK (CN) — After a Democratic primary election, one New York City incumbent will continue his three-decade congressional term, while another key race remains too close to call — although one candidate has already declared victory. 

New York’s midterm primary election was split into two dates after redistricting shook up several congressional races in the state.

Longtime congressional colleagues Jerrold Nadler and Carolyn Maloney squared off in the 12th District, while Nadler’s departure from the 10th District yielded a free-for-all among 12 candidates in a spread that once included former Mayor Bill de Blasio. 

In the Republican race for Long Island's 1st Congressional District, U.S. Representative Lee Zeldin’s run for governor cleared the way for his fellow party members to duke it out in Suffolk County, which voted for Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential race. 

Here’s where those district primary races stand: 

12th Congressional District

Nadler’s victory over Maloney was announced shortly before 9:30 p.m., where he garnered nearly 56% of votes compared to Maloney’s 24%. Suraj Patel, an attorney who worked on former President Barack Obama’s campaigns, trailed with around 19% of votes. More than 82,000 votes were tallied. 

Nadler claimed victory around 10 p.m. "This place is my home," he said. "I have lived here for my entire adult life."

Nadler went on to say the district belongs not to him, but to its residents, and "I think the voters made themselves clear tonight."

The representative thanked Maloney as well as Patel, whom he called "exceptionally bright."

Maloney’s concession speech was introduced by her eldest daughter, who noted her mother was the first U.S. representative to give birth while in office and called her mother the “O.G. progressive.”

The three-decade congresswoman congratulated Nadler, saying “I wish him every success,” and said she hopes Patel’s efforts inspire other young people to run for office.

Though saddened that Manhattan will no longer have a woman representing the borough in the House of Representatives, Maloney spoke about her party’s continued efforts to combat “extremists” on the Hill.

“We cannot and we must not give up,” Maloney said. “The fight continues.”

10th Congressional District

Leading the wide field in the district that encompasses parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn is Daniel Goldman, a former federal prosecutor, with more than 25% of the more than 65,000 votes counted.

State Assembly member Yuh-Line Niou is not far behind with around 24% of the vote, followed by 18% for U.S. Representative Mondaire Jones, who has held office in the 17th District since 2020, and a roughly equal portion for New York City Council Member Carlina Rivera.

State Assembly member Jo Anne Simon and former Representative Elizabeth Holtzman follow those frontrunners in the crowded race. 

Goldman declared himself the winner around 10:30 p.m., although the race had not yet been called.

He will "respect" the democratic process as votes are counted, Goldman said, but added "it is quite clear that we have won."

"This has been an inspiring and humbling experience as a first-time candidate," Goldman said.

Niou addressed her supporters at the same time, speaking passionately about rights at risk including abortion rights, and saying her campaign sends the message that those can be reclaimed.

“People can take back control of their government. We can fight and win back our democracy,” Niou said.

She rebuffed Goldman’s claim to victory.

“I know that tonight's results aren't yet what we hope to hear,” Niou said. "But we will not concede until we count every vote. Because what we can do together is too important to give up.”

Critics accused Goldman of trying to buy the election by injecting $4 million of his own money into his campaign. The candidate responded by saying he wanted to spend time with voters, not donors. 

Goldman’s ties to the family of The New York Times’ publisher A.G. Sulzberger came into focus when the paper endorsed him on Aug. 13, sparking criticism. The attorney, who served as counsel for Democrats during Trump's first impeachment, also earned a sarcastic endorsement from the former president, who boasted about his acquittal while calling Goldman "honorable, fair, and highly intelligent."

"While it was my honor to beat him, and beat him badly, Dan Goldman has a wonderful future ahead, Trump wrote on his Twitter lookalike platform, Truth Social.

1st Congressional District

Nick LaLota, the chief of staff of the county legislature, won the incumbent-less Long Island district's Republican primary with nearly 47% of votes. He beat cryptocurrency trader Michelle Bond, at 27%, and political consultant Anthony Figliola, with 25%, out of nearly 20,000 total votes. Each of the three candidates has highlighted their backing of the Trump agenda in an effort to beat out the other two in the red county. 

Since Bond entered the race in May she has raked in more than $1 million, doubling LaLota’s total of $485,000, FiveThirtyEight reported. 

Voter turnout 

An August primary is new to New Yorkers — as is splitting the election into separate dates two months apart — making it difficult to compare voter turnout to that of previous years. 

At the polls Tuesday, voters and campaigners for several local races told Courthouse News that voter turnout matched predictably low rates. Hilary Mason, 43, said she votes in every race and Tuesday’s stacked up poorly.

“It doesn't seem to have the energy that other voting experiences have,” said Mason, who lives in Brooklyn. 

Democratic primary voters cited abortion rights, gun control laws and environmental measures as top issues informing their votes. 

Mason picked Rivera for her 10th District representative. 

“I'm very excited to see a candidate who seems to have a balance of experience working in the complexity that is New York City, and also progressive goals,” Mason said. 

Absentee ballots are yet to be counted; they must be postmarked by Tuesday and received a week later. 

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