On the day of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, Max Rose and Nicole Malliotakis both mourned their fellow New Yorker.
Rose called her an icon. Malliotakis called her a trailblazer.
But the Democratic Congressman and his Republican challenger are divided over when her Supreme Court seat should be filled — unsurprising considering the partisan war that has erupted in the Senate.
“The vote should happen next year, the vote should happen when those who are elected in 2020 are sworn in," Rose said.
“The vacancy should be filled right away," Malliotakis said.
Rose, a first-termer, and Malliotakis, a state assemblywoman, are vying for the city’s only swing House seat.
Their race in Staten Island and southern Brooklyn is a microcosm of the presidential race.
A new Malliotakis ad links Rose to more left-leaning Democrats and efforts to defund the NYPD.
Rose — a vocal critic of Mayor de Blasio — has rejected the attack in his own ads.
“Everyone knows Bill de Blasio is the most radical mayor in the country, so why is Max Rose standing with de Blasio?” Malliotakis says in her ad.
“I’m Max Rose and of course I’d never defund the police," Rose says in his. "I approve this message because if you want to know what Nicole’s lying about me, just look at all the ways she’s been screwing you over.”
The recent Rose ad says Malliotakis supported a plan that raised property taxes — an attack she says is him lying about her.
Asked about past statements by Republicans justifying their blocking of President Obama’s Supreme Court appointment in an election year, Malliotakis noted that Bader Ginsburg herself said in 2016 that the president doesn’t stop being president in a last year.
“When people vote for president, it’s with an understand that the president will fill any vacancies of the Supreme Court," Malliotakis said. "This district did support the president.”
Rose labeled Senate Republicans as hypocrites.
“I stand with Mitch McConnell from 2016 and I think the American people should play a role in this decision," he said, adding: “This is also reaffirming the fact that elections have consequences.”
Political experts say how the Supreme Court fight plays in the 11th District depends on the national spin and on what feels more centrist.
“It might advantage Rose on the margin because the Democrats are saying, 'Be prudent, wait, let’s see what happens,'" said Richard Flanagan, a political science professor at College of Staten Island. "That may read as the less extreme position on the issue."