Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis easily won her Republican primary for Congress Tuesday night and is ready to take on the first-term Democratic Rep. Max Rose in what is expected to be one of the most closely watched House elections in the country.
More conservative than the rest of New York City, the 11th congressional district that encompasses Staten Island and southern Brooklyn is considered a swing seat.
Malliotakis declared victory after early returns showed her leading challenger Joe Caldarera by 40 points.
Malliotakis, first elected to the Assembly in 2010, was the GOP candidate for mayor in 2017. While Democratic incumbent Bill de Blasio defeated her citywide, Malliotakis garnered an impressive 70 percent of the vote in her home borough of Staten Island.
When she ran for mayor, Malliotakis distanced herself from President Trump – but not anymore.
“I’ll stand with President Trump… .as we battle the creep of Socialism and fight to Make America Great Again!” she said in a speech Tuesday night.
She also sought to paint Rose as too liberal for the district.
“Two years ago… .he claimed to be a moderate Democrat who would act independently of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi… but, once elected he proved to be just another liberal Democrat voting with her over 95% of the time. Over those 18 months he joined with the left to help stall the America-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, ”Malliotakis said.
“He voted to release convicts from federal prisons, to use our tax dollars to fund political campaigns … and most importantly he cast his vote with Jerry Nadler … Adam Schiff … and AOC to impeach our President Donald Trump.”
Rose, a military veteran who served in Afghanistan, responded in kind, calling Malliotakis a “fraud.”
“I couldn’t be happier to welcome Assembly Member Nicole Malliotakis to the general election … a fraud who represents everything we hate about our politics,” Rose said in a statement.
He said he has delivered for the district while Malliotakis is all talk.
“I faced an unprecedented crisis as a result of COVID, but I stopped fighting for you on the front lines. We built a COVID-only facility from scratch, brought the first drive-through testing site in New York City right to our district, and secured billions of dollars in funding and materials to beat the pandemic and save our economy, ”Rose said.
“What was Nicole doing this whole time?” Rose asked. “She was sharing photoshopped pictures of herself delivering supplies. And what was she doing up in Albany? She was cutting half a billion dollars from our health care providers. “