With about two weeks before Election Day, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is investing more than half a million dollars into a new TV advertisement for Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney — the chair of the DCCC — in his bid for the 17th Congressional District in New York’s Hudson Valley.
The DCCC confirmed to Spectrum News 1 Monday that the DCCC is spending $605,000 on the ad attacking Maloney's opponent to “ensure we hold a seat that is critical to Democrats maintaining the majority.”
Maloney faces first-term state Assemblyman Republican Michael Lawler, who worked as a campaign worker for the late U.S. Sen. John McCain during his presidential bid, and then as the executive director of the New York state Republican Party.
Congressional Leadership Fund, the super PAC aligned with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and all of House Republican leadership, announced last week it would be spending $4 million in the New York City broadcast market to defeat Maloney.
“Republicans are pouring well over $6 million to prop up MAGA Mike Lawler whose campaign couldn’t compete on its own,” DCCC spokesperson Chris Taylor told Spectrum News 1. “Since day one, Chairman Maloney has been working tirelessly as a player coach — He’s built a campaign and we’ve built an operation at the DCCC that can support that reality. As we have with every decision this cycle, we are making investments that ensure Democrats hold our House Majority.”
The money for Maloney comes as Cook Political Report on Monday changed their rating of the 17th District from “leans Democrat” to “toss up.” The 17th District includes parts of Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess and Rockland counties. It is one of three competitive battleground districts in the Hudson Valley that both major parties are putting resources into as control of the House of Representatives hangs in the balance.
Rep. Maloney represented the 18th District since 2013, and after redistricting this year, opted to run in the 17th District instead, which angered some officials in his own party, including state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi, who launched a failed primary campaign against him in response.
"Sean Maloney's selfishness knows no bounds," said Bill O'Reilly, a spokesman for Lawler's campaign. "After what he did to Congressman Jones, and after the millions he blew trying to get cute in the primaries, Mr. Maloney is now robbing money from his fellow Democrats in a desperate attempt to save his own hide. He should have thought of what might happen to his candidacy before championing cashless bail, raising taxes on the middle class, and blowing a huge hole in the pockets of his constituents with ill-conceived inflationary votes."
Maloney told Spectrum News 1 last week he would "recuse myself from any spending decisions involving my own race. We'll let the professional staff handle that."
If Maloney were to lose in November, according to Cook Political Report, he would be the first sitting campaign committee chair of a major party to lose a general election since 1980.