U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Western Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn) opened her new campaign office and, with it, started her 14th run in New York’s 12th Congressional District.
The former New York City Councilmember welcomed over 50 people at Local 46 Metallic Lathers & Reinforcing Iron Workers Union Hall in Manhattan. She spoke for around 20 minutes to highlight her accomplishments, her ambitions, and her favorite part about the election season.
“I love politics, but my very favorite time is petitioning,” she said to laughter from the audience.
In addition to campaign staff and supporters, State Assemblymember Dan Quart (D-Upper East Side, Midtown) attended to offer support for Maloney’s re-election campaign.
“Primaries are a fact of life, anyone has a right to run, and that’s life,” Quart said. “But when people run and don’t have a true record in the community, you contrast it with someone who has given her life to East Harlem, to Upper East Side, to downtown Brooklyn, to Queens as a member of Congress.”
Maloney, who first won her seat in 1992, is running in a crowded Democratic primary with two contenders, NYU professor and entrepreneur Suraj Patel and peace activist Sander Hicks. Yet the last time Maloney faced a formidable challenger was in 2010, which she won with 81 percent of the vote in the primary. In addition, every political club in her district has endorsed her along with city officials such as Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Maloney did not address her challengers. Instead, she talked about the most famous constituent from the district—President Donald Trump.
“I’m so glad in Washington that I can take Mr. Trump on not just with rhetoric, but with actions,” she said.
She announced that starting today she would attend a press conference demanding both lawmakers and the White House defend the health care of 9/11 first responders, which would be affected by Trump’s proposed budget.
Near Maloney sat Keith Lebow, a Local 46 member and a World Trade Center responder, who would attend the press conference with Maloney. Lebow, who suffers from PTSD, asthma, and other illnesses, cited Carolyn as one of several lawmakers that urged health care for him and other responders.
“If it wasn’t for Carolyn,” Lebow said, “I wouldn’t be here today.”
Maloney also spoke about changes happening in her district and beyond. For instance, she explained how the atmosphere to talk about sexual assault and harassment changed over the past few years. She felt the current moment of justice against sexual predators could lead to the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment on the federal level.
In addition, Maloney spoke about the Second Avenue Subway line, an addition she wanted since first arriving in office in 1993. She highlighted that, since its completion, the line has resulted in more commerce along the line.
“It’s the best subway not in New York City, not in New York State, but in the entire nation,” she said.
The Democratic primary for the 12th Congressional District is June 26.