Democratic Infighting Dominates New York, Florida Primaries

Several Democratic members of Congress are in danger of losing reelection – and at least one is guaranteed defeat – in Tuesday’s primary elections in New York, Florida, and Oklahoma.


Several Democratic members of Congress are in danger of losing reelection – and at least one is guaranteed defeat – in Tuesday’s primary elections in New York, Florida, and Oklahoma.

  • Democratic Congressman Charlie Crist, the former G.O.P. governor and 2014 Democratic nominee for governor of Florida is favored to win the Democratic primary for governor over state agriculture commissioner Nikki Fried for the right to challenge Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.
  • Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney is the Democrats’ campaign chief charged with defending their slim House majority. Maloney abandoned a challenging reelection bid in New York’s new 19th District for the safer 17th District after redistricting but traded a competitive general election for a contested primary.
  • Progressive New York state senator Alessandra Biaggi challenged Maloney from the left, while Rep. Mondaire Jones (who represented 75% of the new 19th compared to Maloney’s 25%) declined to challenge Maloney and decided instead to run in the new 10th District in Manhattan.
  • Rep. Jerry Nadler and Rep. Carolyn Maloney have represented the West and East Sides of Manhattan for the better part of three decades. New district lines lumped the two longtime colleagues into a new 12th District composed of the Upper West and Upper East Sides while leaving Nadler’s old 10th District open.
  • Nadler is the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and led the charge to impeach former President Donald Trump, and Maloney chairs the House Oversight and Reform Committee. At least one senior Democrat is guaranteed to lose – or both could lose to outsider candidate Suraj Patel.
  • Rep. Mondaire Jones is just one of six major candidates in the 10th District Democratic primary, which also features several state lawmakers and Dan Goldman, a former federal prosecutor endorsed by The New York Times and sarcastically backed by former President Donald Trump.
  • Two special elections in the Hudson Valley and Western New York will offer a snapshot of public mood fewer than three months before the November midterm elections. Joe Sempolinski, a Republican, and Democrat Max Della Pia are running for the 23rd District left open after the resignation of Rep. Tom Reed.
  • Democrat Pat Ryan and Republican Marc Molinaro, the county executives of neighboring counties, are competing for the 19th District left open by newly-appointed Lt. Governor Antonio Delgado. Delgado, a Democrat, only narrowly won reelection in 2020 and Republicans are optimistic that they will flip the seat.
  • Two infamous former members of Congress are mounting comeback bids in Florida’s 10th District, a safely Democratic seat in the Orlando area.
  • Former Rep. Alan Grayson had a reputation for inflammatory remarks before his career was damaged by unflattering stories about his personal conduct. Longtime Rep. Corrine Brown, a convicted felon who served two years in prison for charity fraud and related charges, remained in the race after she pled guilty to one count of tax fraud in May.
  • State senator Randolph Bracy and March For Our Lives-affiliated activist Maxwell Alejandro Frost are the other two major candidates. A Democratic poll on the eve of the election showed the 25-year-old outsider Frost leading the field.


reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • The New York Times called the primary for New York’s 17th District a primary “watched by A.O.C., Pelosi, and the Clintons.” Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney won the endorsements of Speaker Nancy Pelosi and former President Bill Clinton while state Senator Alessandra Biaggi is backed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and progressive groups.
  • POLITICO reported Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino, the 2010 G.O.P. nominee for governor of New York, is “well-positioned” to win the G.O.P. primary for the 23rd District, a solidly Republican seat in Western New York. Paladino’s leading competitor is state party chairman Nick Langworthy. Both are running as strong Trump supporters.
  • The Washington Post covered Tuesday’s most important Republican primary – the Oklahoma runoff between U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin and former state House speaker T.W. Shannon that will likely decide the state’s next U.S. Senator. Mullin led in June’s primary and is endorsed by Trump. State lawmakers Josh Brecheen and Avery Frix are competing to succeed Mullin to represent eastern Oklahoma in the House.



  • FOX News wrote the special election for New York’s 19th District is a “test of Democrats’ messaging on abortion.” Democratic candidate Pat Ryan made abortion rights the center of his campaign, while Republican Marc Molinaro “focused on inflation, gas prices and crime.”
  • The Wall Street Journal noted the Democratic primaries in Florida and New York “were heavily affected by redistricting, which scrambled the plans of several Democratic House members.”
  • The Washington Examiner called the special election for New York’s 19th District the first real test of whether the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade will move abortion-rights supporters to the polls in sufficient numbers to blunt the so-called “red wave.”

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‘Don’t Run, Liz, Don’t Run’ (National Review)

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© Dominic Moore, 2022