Democratic politicians are either cowering on the sidelines or feebly endorsing two candidates in one primary race thanks to their party’s gerrymandering debacle that left them with two party heavyweights — Manhattan Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Jerrold Nadler — vying for the same House seat.
“The 12th congressional district is a horrible situation,” said Laura Bierman, executive director of the New York League of Women Voters.
“The Legislature overreached and lost control of the redistricting process. This is a result of the legislature violating the constitution.”
The courts ruled earlier this year that the Democratic lawmakers engaged in illegal partisan gerrymandering to win more congressional seats and threw out their redistricted maps. Republican critics derisively called the illegally drawn redistricting the “Hochulmander” because Gov. Kathy Hochul approved it.
A court-assigned special master tasked with fixing the maps merged Nadler’s Upper West Side base with Maloney’s Upper East side turf as part of a new 12th Congressional
Nadler immediately announced he would run in 12th CD against Maloney instead of his redrawn 10th district, which no longer included the Upper West Side and took in new neighborhoods in Brooklyn he had never represented.
Suraj Patel is the third candidate in the race, a dark horse looking to pull of an upset against the two septuagenarians who’ve served in the House since the early 1990s.
“The Democratic leadership could have stepped in to intervene — but they didn’t,” political consultant Hank Sheinkopf, referring to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others.
He said New York will lose clout and seniority because both Nadler (judiciary) and Maloney (oversight) chair major committees and one of them has to lose.
“New York is going to lose power. The Democrats have only themselves to blame. They thought they could get away with gerrymandering. The court is the law, not the Democrats,” he said.
House Democrats –including lefty socialist firebrand Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — have refused thus far to take sides in the Aug. 23 primary contest.
Meanwhile, veteran Manhattan Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, who made history as the first openly gay person elected to the legislature in 1990, is listed as a co-endorser of both Maloney and Nadler, according to the the campaign websites.
Planned Parenthood and the National Abortions Rights League have also co-endorsed Nadler and Maloney.
Meanwhile, Manhattan state Sen. Liz Krueger, who has worked closely with both congress members, said she is remaining neutral instead of taking sides — for or against a political brother or sister.
“Both Maloney and Nadler have proved excellent representatives and are both my friends. Shame to lose either of them,” Krueger, the power senate finance committee chairwoman, told The Post Monday
Some elected officials have weighed in.
Nadler has the support of some elected progressives and those in his West Side base, including Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and city Comptroller Brad Lander, Councilman Eric Bottcher, Assemblyman Dick Gottfried, state Sen. Brad Hoylman, Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal and state Sen. Cordell Cleare.
Maloney has the backing of elected officials on or near her turf: Upper East Side Assemblywoman Rebecca Seawright, Harlem Assemblywoman Inez Dickens, Assemblyman Eddie Gibbs and Harvey Epstein and Councilman Keith Powers.
Nadler announced Monday he had the support of “Sex and the City” actress Cynthia Nixon, who had previously criticized Maloney’s stance on vaccines.
Both Nadler and Maloney made gaffes during last week’s NY1/WNYC debate.
Nadler stumbled through his opening statement and referred to Donald Trump as “Bush.”
Maloney stunned Democrats when she said President Biden would not run for re-election and spent days afterwards walking back the comment.