NEW YORK - Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney is chair of the powerful House Oversight Committee.
Now seeking reelection to a 15th term, she has earned seniority and built relationships that she says will help New York through the health, racial and social crises.
She says because of her influence on Capitol Hill, "our district has a louder voice than ever when it comes to holding this administration accountable in line with our progressive values.”
Her Democratic challengers say Maloney’s is not the kind of experience needed now in the 12th District.
Suraj Patel is a child of immigrants, lawyer and former Obama aide running against Maloney for the second time.
He had 40 percent of the primary vote to her 59 percent in 2018.
“It feels a lot like 1968 or 2008 when we need new leaders with a new kind of experience to guide us out to the next decade," said Patel. “I think everyone knows deep down inside that staying the course is probably the most dangerous thing we can do this year.”
The progressive will split at least some of the anti-incumbent vote with two additional challengers vying to represent the Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn district.
The others trend farther left.
Lauren Ashcraft is a stand-up comedian and activist who helped organized the Women’s March in New York.
“In this district, people are having to choose between having a home and putting food on their table," she said, adding of Maloney, “There’s just this increasing disconnect. She doesn’t understand what it’s like to be an everyday member of the district.”
Very far behind in fundraising is Peter Harrison, a housing organizer who like Ashcraft is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America.
“I think the Democratic Party is in trouble because they’ve abandoned the values of the working class and sort of aspirational inclusivity," he said.
Maloney says she’ll continue to fight for “health care as a human right, universal paid family leave, the Equal Rights amendment, ending the student loan debt crisis, stopping gun violence" and other priorities.
Her endorsements include local figures like City Comptroller Scott Stringer and national ones like Gloria Steinem.
Her last filing showed her campaign war chest is more than twice as big as Patel’s.
Maloney's challengers have criticized her big-dollar and corporate donors.
The primaries are on June 23.