Dems in disarray: DCCC chair faces backlash for potentially primarying freshman progressive

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The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) chairman is facing backlash from progressives after he signaled that he would “run in New York’s 17th Congressional District” if the maps are “finalized,” which would pit him against a freshman progressive firebrand. DCCC chairman Sean Patrick Maloney would be campaigning in a part of NYC that is heavily represented by “Squad” Rep. Mondaire Jones, D-N.Y., sparking concerns among Democratic colleagues.TRUMP-BACKED R. OZ AND DAVE MCCORMICK GO INTO OVERTIME IN PENNSYLVANIA’S CRUCIAL GOP SENATE PRIMARY
UNITED STATES – SEPTEMBER 27: Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., prepares for an interview during the last House votes of the week in the Capitol on Friday, September 27, 2019. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
(Getty Images)Multiple congressional Democrats and aides shared their concerns with POLITICO on Tuesday, with the central concern being whether it is appropriate for Maloney to be in his DCCC leadership role while also competing against the freshman lawmaker.As the DCCC chairman, Maloney has virtually bottomless campaign coffers — meaning he has the resources to flood the media market and make a primary push that could easily cost Jones his seat.This financial control also has candidates feeling muzzled because they feel they can’t speak out on the record, fearing they may lose financial backing from the DCCC.
Representative Gabrielle Giffords and Representative Mondaire Jones at the Jewish Community Center (JCC) of Krakow as part of a congressional delegation, 19th April 2022. (Photo by Chuck Fishman/JCC Krakow/Getty Images)
Maloney allies have also reportedly told people Jones and his ideology may be a better fit for a different district and raising questions on whether the view came from the DCCC or Maloney’s camp.Jones has yet to say whether he’ll take on Maloney, who is a resident of the newly drawn district he is eyeing. The “Squad” freshman isn’t the only one potentially facing the chopping block, however.Congressional candidates in New York aren’t required to live in the district they represent, which has Maloney looking over at the seat of a different freshman: Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y.”It seems like there’s a conflict,” Rep. Ritchie Torres, D-N.Y., told POLITICO. “New York 17 is primarily in Congressman Jones’ district. He should be regarded as the incumbent.”
Rep. Ritchie Torres outside his congressional office in Washington DC. 
(Office of Rep. Ritchie Torres)Torres attacked the potential primary showdown between Maloney and Jones on Twitter Wednesday, writing the “thinly veiled racism here is profoundly disappointing.””A black man is ideologically ill suited to represent a Westchester County District that he represents presently and won decisively in 2020?” Torres wrote. “Outrageous.””You cannot have the chair of the DCCC involved in a Democratic primary with an incumbent colleague and expect that person to remain objective about their No. 1 job, which is incumbent protection,” retiring Rep. Kathleen Rice of New York, said to POLITICO.Not every House Democrat is against Maloney’s primary bid. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., defended Maloney wanting to run in a district where he lives in a statement to Punchbowl News on Wednesday saying, “[SPM] said i’m running where my house is, that’s all I know that he said. and that’s a logical thing for people to do — where my home is. But we’re still hopeful there could still be some change.” Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., the longest serving Empire State representative in Congress who is in his own primary battle against long-serving New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney, said he believes that the DCCC chair can handle both “as long as he can compartmentalize.””It’s not going to be easy. Nobody said it was,” Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., said. “When he took his leadership position, he knew that was going to be a difficult task. … I’m confident that it’ll be alright.” Pascrell fended off his own member-versus-member primary challenge a decade ago.An anonymous Democratic aide also told POLITICO that Maloney “clearly has the confidence of his colleagues.””This sort of pointless sniping is detrimental to our efforts to keep the majority,” the aide continued. “We have an extremely capable DCCC chair who has demonstrated he can walk and chew gum.”Chris Hayden, a spokesperson for the DCCC, told POLITICO that “Rep. Maloney fought harder than anyone to get maps that reflect the will of the people of New York, even at his own expense, and continues to fight against this illegitimate process.””He has proven he can lead the DCCC without his own race interfering and he will continue to do so,” Hayden continued.Additionally, the potential fundraising chairman-versus-freshman lawmaker primary has got over a dozen members of the Democratic Party, particularly from swing districts, upset, with sources familiar with the drama telling POLITICO that the lawmakers are talking about removing Maloney from his leadership post.CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPSeveral have already called on Democratic House Conference chairman Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., to bench Maloney from leadership.The new map is not finalized, however, and Jones’ re-election opponent will likely not be determined until the map goes into effect Friday.Regardless, Jones finds himself between a rock and a hard place this midterm: either he takes on Bowman in a “Squad”-on-“Squad” showdown or he goes up against the DCCC chairman.Maloney and Jones did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s requests for comment.

Mojtaba Sadira

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