STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. - Democratic Congressman Max Rose and his Republican challenger Nicole Malliotakis have been primed for their general election fight since long before her primary was decided.
In February, President Trump endorsed Malliotakis in her bid to unseat Rose. A day later, Rose on NY1’s “Inside City Hall” portrayed the state Assembly member as an opportunist.
“Her views have evolved? That’s a fascinating hypothetical,” he said.
This past week, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sent a Primary Day memo slamming Malliotakis as a fraud.
Then, the National Republican Congressional Committee blasted Rose’s “out-of-touch liberal record.”
Rose represents the city’s only swing House district, situated in Staten Island and south Brooklyn.
He flipped the seat blue in 2018.
He says he deserves reelection in November because he’s independent of his party.
“It’s about changing the Democratic Party as well, about changing the Democratic Party so it’s not a party that says one thing during the election season and then goes around and becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of lobbyists and corporate PACs,” he said. “It’s also about saying that no one owns me.”
Malliotakis used her Primary Night victory speech to call Rose a rubber-stamp for Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“Are you tired of the one-party rule in this city?” she asked as the crowd responded: “Yeah!”
Like Rose, she says she’s willing to stand up to her party.
“I’m my own person, she said. “I’m my own person. I’m independent. Yes, I support the president. Yes, I’m on his party ticket. But when I don’t agree, I’m not going to agree. And that’s fine, too. And that’s what people want in their representative, someone who’s going to be independent, not just toe the party line.”
Rose was one of the last House Democrats to publicly support articles of impeachment against Trump.
Malliotakis cited his shift from opponent to backer of impeachment as hypocrisy.
In one of many overlaps in their general-election messaging, both cited allegiance to constituents in uniform.
“At the end of the day, people are not happy with the direction of this city,” Malliotakis said. “The mayor just announced a $1 billion cut to the NYPD budget.”
Rose said he wouldn’t let anyone diminish the sacrifices of those “who risk their lives throughout COVID, risk their lives serving in wars abroad, risk their lives every single day as NYPD and firefighters.”