The Record-Review – The official newspaper of Bedford and Pound Ridge, New York

 
Maloney wins Democratic primary, set to challenge Nan Hayworth
Sean Patrick Maloney
 


By DON HEPPNER & JOHN ROCHE

Democrat Sean Patrick Maloney cruised to victory in his party’s five-way primary on Tuesday to challenge Republican Congresswoman Nan Hayworth this fall. Mr. Maloney captured 48.3 percent of the district-wide vote in the Democratic primary on June 26, defeating Matt Alexander, Dr. Richard Becker, Duane Jackson and Tom Wilson, according to unofficial results.

On Wednesday, Mr. Maloney said he believes his victory in the primary underscores the fact that the people of the district are clamoring for change. “I think this victory says that people want Congress to work again — it’s broken, they want to fix it, and they agree that I’m the best person to represent them in doing just that,” Mr. Maloney said by phone. “My race was about making Congress work for working middle-class families again, and unfortunately, we have a representative who is not getting the job done.”

Dr. Becker placed second with 32.5 percent. Unofficially, Mr. Maloney garnered 7,098 votes, and Dr. Becker received 4,755 votes. Although Mr. Maloney handily won the district, Dr. Becker won Westchester.

In Westchester County, a total of 2,219 votes were cast. Dr. Becker garnered 47 percent of the Westchester vote, with 1,042 votes. Mr. Maloney received 934 votes in Westchester, or 42 percent of the total for this county. Mr. Jackson received 34 votes in Westchester, or 2 percent of the county’s total. Mr. Alexander received 199 votes, amounting to 9 percent in Westchester, and Mr. Wilson received 10 votes, or less than 1 percent of the county’s total.

Mr. Maloney won Putnam County and garnered more than twice the number of votes as his closest rival, Dr. Becker, defeating him 1,163 to 521. Mr. Jackson received 38 votes, Mr. Alexander received 141 votes, and Mr. Wilson received 11 of the 1,890 total votes cast in Putnam. Mr. Maloney also carried Orange and Dutchess counties.

Mr. Maloney, of Jeffersonville, is hoping to unseat Ms. Hayworth, who is seeking a second-two year term in Congress. The winner in November’s general election will represent the newly drawn 18th District, which includes Bedford, Pound Ridge, other portions of Westchester County, the southwestern portion of Dutchess County and all of Putnam and Orange counties. Ms. Hayworth currently represents the 19th District, but that will change in January under redistricting that took place this year.

Mr. Maloney said his top priority would be fostering much-needed economic growth in the region and the nation. “My number one focus will be to create jobs, bring wealth and greater opportunities to the middle class and to get this economy moving again,” he said.  

As he did in his victory speech the previous night, Mr. Maloney criticized Ms. Hayworth for being “extreme” and for not sharing the values of most residents in the district. “She voted twice to end Medicare instead of trying to create jobs, she resisted disaster relief for her own neighbors after Hurricane Irene instead of good constituent service, trying to deny equal pay for women for equal work, trying to deny access to contraception instead of standing up for equality for women and everyone else — in area after area, our own representative and the Republican Congress have failed the Hudson Valley,” Mr. Maloney said. “It’s time to fix that. It’s time for change.”

Mr. Maloney, an attorney with a Manhattan-based law firm, served as White House staff secretary under President Bill Clinton and is a former top aide to two New York governors, Eliot Spitzer and David Paterson. He specifically thanked President Clinton along with labor workers and other supporters for their votes during his victory speech at a Teamsters union hall in Orange County.

Ms. Hayworth, a retired ophthalmologist from Bedford who defeated two-term incumbent Democrat John Hall in 2010, was on the floor of Congress Wednesday and not immediately available for comment. But her campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said voters have a clear choice now that Mr. Maloney has been tapped as the Democratic challenger.

“What this means is that there will be a very clear and stark contrast between the two candidates,” Mr. Murtaugh said. “Nan Hayworth will stand for individual liberties, freedom, reduced regulation, lower taxes and fewer barriers to job creation. She will also continue to oppose the federal takeover of healthcare. Mr. Maloney, on the other hand, has already indicated he will raise taxes, he’ll support greater regulation, he’ll support the federal takeover of healthcare which includes taking half a trillion dollars out of Medicare, and will put up more barriers to job growth.”

Mr. Murtaugh said he believes Ms. Hayworth, in addition to representing the district, will continue to run on her record of accomplishments during her first term in the five months between now and Election Day. “It’s a crystal clear choice, and we are very eager to have that conversation with the voters,” Ms. Hayworth’s spokesman said.

The lines of Ms. Hayworth’s district are set to change under redistricting, and will become the 18th rather than 19th. Although it will cover mainly the same areas, the changes increase the number of registered Democrats and decrease the number of Republicans in the district.

Dr. Becker conceded late Tuesday night. “I’d like to congratulate my opponent for his victory tonight and wish him the best of luck in the general election,” he said. “The Hudson Valley can’t afford two more years of this Tea Party Congress. One term was one too many for Nan Hayworth.”

Both the Bedford and Pound Ridge Democratic committees endorsed Dr. Becker in the primary race, but have now thrown their support behind Mr. Maloney.

“We congratulate Sean Maloney on his winning the Democratic nomination in the new 18th Congressional District,” said Roslyn Stone-Pollock, chairwoman of the Pound Ridge Democratic Committee.  “We will work hard to help get him elected. Nan Hayworth does not represent the real values of this district, and replacing her in Congress is critical. We are confident that Sean Maloney will protect the rights of women, help create jobs and listen to the concerns throughout this district.”

Bruce Yablon, chairman of the Bedford Democratic Committee, said Wednesday that although his committee members hadn’t formally met after the polls closed the night before, he expects they will be fully behind Mr. Maloney. Dr. Becker won Bedford with 65 votes to Mr. Maloney’s 35 votes, according to unofficial results.

“We felt that Dr. Becker’s knowledge and expertise on the healthcare issue made him a very strong candidate who merited our endorsement in the primary, but I expect we’ll fully support Sean Maloney in the campaign again Nan Hayworth,” Mr. Yablon said. “Sean Maloney is a powerful candidate who is committed to the same values that most people in our district believe in, and we will do all we can to help him secure a win this fall.”

Mr. Maloney’s place of residence could play a significant part in the campaign, according to Luke Vander Linden, vice chairman of the Bedford Republican Town Committee. “To be honest, I’m surprised the Democrats picked a candidate who has not and probably will not even live in the district,” said Mr. Vander Linden. “I know it was pretty close and a fairly heated and nasty primary, but I guess the national party outweighs the local party here. That’s too bad for them not to have a local candidate. I know under the strict reading of the Constitution, representatives only have to live in the state and not in the district, but Maloney lives nowhere near anything. At least Dr. Becker was only out of the district by a quirk of the gerrymandering process, but I just don’t get how Maloney could possibly understand anything about the Hudson Valley from his Manhattan penthouse.”

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman Steve Israel issued a statement saying that Tuesday’s results bode well for his party’s chances for victory in November. “New York’s results today show that Republicans are on the run and ensure Democrats have strong candidates challenging vulnerable Tea Party Republicans in districts across the state, almost all of which were won by President Obama in 2008,” Mr. Israel said. “While Republicans try to defend their indefensible votes to drastically cut Medicare while protecting tax breaks for millionaires and Big Oil, and corporations that ship jobs overseas instead of standing up for the middle class, Democrats have the opportunity to make big gains across the state.”

In a statement about the New York Primary results, the National Republican Congressional Committee hailed Ms. Hayworth as “a strong, independent, refreshing voice for the Hudson Valley” as well as “a true fiscal conservative who has also proven to be a tireless champion of environmental conservation.”

The NRCC statement added, “In an area where voters are seeking an independent voice, Rep. Hayworth stands in stark contrast to her Democrat challenger Sean Patrick Maloney, who has already signaled he would be another rubber-stamp for more of President Obama’s failed agenda that voters rejected in 2010. Coming out of a bruising five-way primary race to the left, Sean Patrick Maloney has been weakened and exposed.”

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6.


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