The primary race for Manhattan’s 12th Congressional district has officially taken off with nearly all the candidates in the race debuting new advertisements this week.
Rep. Jerry Nadler, one of the incumbents in the race, debuted an ad on Tuesday that featured Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Warren listed off many of Nadler’s accomplishments, which included fight for gun legislation and climate change. Warren ended the ad with a plea to voters to keep the longtime congressman in office.
“New Yorkers are so lucky to have Jerry in Congress and America can’t afford to lose him,” Warren said.
Courtesy: Nadler campaign for Congress
Suraj Patel, a candidate that is running for a third time, released an ad the same day. Patel’s ad targeted Rep. Carolyn Maloney, the other incumbent in the race, for her previous stance on vaccines.
Patel also questioned Nadler’s previous support for Maloney during the pandemic in the ad.
“So after New York City was ground-zero for COVID-19, would you support Carolyn Maloney? Jerry Nadler did. He endorsed us for our district. That was his good judgement,” Patel said.
When asked about her previous stance on vaccines, Maloney’s campaign pushed back, touting her work in bringing necessary COVID-19 funding to the city.
“During the pandemic, [Maloney] fought to bring $5 billion in COVID-19 relief funds to New York to get shots into people's arms and masks and PPE. She built two vaccination sites for New Yorkers in her district to make it easier for those who did not have access to vaccines to get vaccinated,” said Bob Liff, a spokesperson for Maloney’s campaign.
"For a candidate who does little more than show up every two years to run, he knows this canard was rejected by voters in the past and will be again,” Liff added.
Maloney, the first to release an ad on Monday, used the recent Supreme Court decision, which struck down abortion, to pitch herself as a champion for women’s issues, including reproductive rights and paid family leave.
“With the Supreme Court limiting abortion rights, I knew we needed more women in congress. And I haven’t quit fighting since,” Maloney said.
The ad buys are the first look at the political dynamics of the competitive primary that has pinned two Democratic heavyweights against each other. The new 12th Congressional District now encompasses the East and West Sides.
The top factor in the race will be getting enough people to vote during summer vacation and an unusual August primary.
“Will there be enough crossover support from one part of the district to the other? Or enough to have one of the candidates win? Or will it be a question of each candidate turning out their base of support?” said Steven Romalewski, director of the CUNY Mapping Service.