House Republicans are pouring $4 million into broadcast TV ads to help Mike Lawler defeat Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney in the race for New York’s 17th Congressional district.
The GOP-run Congressional Leadership Fund Super PAC believes it has the New York congressman — a close pal of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who chairs the Democrats’ fundraising arm — on the ropes.
“Sean Patrick Maloney’s hubris is catching up with him,” CLF President Dan Conston said Tuesday. “We have a real shot to beat him in November.”
The Super PAC — run by allies of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy — is airing a 30-second spot of Maloney saying he backs controversial bail reform during a 2018 debate.
“Do you believe in ending cash bail?” the interviewer asks.
“Absolutely and I’d make it a top priority,” Maloney answers.
The outcome of the Maloney-Lawler contest in the Hudson Valley — along with a half dozen other competitive races in New York — could determine whether Republicans regain control of the House of Representatives in the midterm elections.
Lawler’s campaign has released internal polls claiming he’s slightly ahead of Maloney, who was first elected in 2012 and is running for a sixth term.
Lawler, a state assemblyman representing Rockland, formerly served as executive director of the state Republican Party.
Maloney said he’s confident he’ll win re-election despite the GOP onslaught, and sought to portray Lawler as a toady of former President Donald Trump.
“Republicans have spent millions against me and their numbers still say MAGA Mike Lawler is losing. CLF can light another $4 million on fire and peddle open racism in an attempt to rescue their loser candidate — it won’t work,” Maloney said.
“I’ve won 5 times in a Trump district and I didn’t need to play footsie with insurrectionists to do it. Lawler is just another Trump errand boy who will be too busy taking away your reproductive rights to deliver for the Hudson Valley.”
Maloney’s campaign said efforts to paint him as soft on crime won’t work because he’s delivered more than $7 million in funding for local police departments and opposed the defund the police movement.
His campaign also insisted that he “consistently demanded” that the bail reform law first approved by Democratic state lawmakers in Albany in 2019 have safeguards to keep dangerous people off the streets, while not keeping poor defendants locked up simply because they lacked cash to post bail.
The new ad blitz comes on top of the $2 million that the CLF already spent on ads in the 17th CD — bringing the total to $6 million.
With New York State losing a seat following redistricting, Maloney decided to run in the reconfigured 17th District, currently represented by Rep. Mondaire Jones, instead of the 18th CD, which he now represents.
That triggered Jones to unsuccessfully seek election in the 10th CD covering brownstone Brooklyn and lower Manhattan. Jones lost in a primary to Dan Goldman, the Levi Strauss Co. heir who served as the House Democrats’ chief impeachment lawyer during Trump’s first impeachment proceeding.