A New Yorker’s opposition to abortion sparks her home re-election bid

As the only Republican in New York City’s congressional delegation, Representative Nicole Mallotakis has taken some stances that would make her understandable in a deeply democratic city.

Just days after taking office in early 2021, he voted to reject valid 2020 election results, voting for a controversial conspiracy theory that claimed President Donald J. Trump actually won the election. He then voted against the second impeachment of Mr Trump as a result of the deadly Capitol riots of January 6, 2021.

But as she seeks re-election in November, Ms Malliotakis tries to tread a fine line around guns and abortion, two polarizing social issues that have risen to prominence in light of recent Supreme Court rulings. (In June, the court overturned the federal right to abortion, as well as a New York law governing concealed weapons.)

On guns, for example, Ms Mallotakis has voiced some support for the new rules, even voting for several Democratic gun control bills in the wake of the massacres in Buffalo and Uvalde, Texas. However, it later voted against the omnibus bill package, arguing that it was “constitutionally dubious” and “represented a partisan redundancy.”

Ms Mallotakis opposes abortion rights, supports a ban on using taxpayer money for the procedure and on late abortions. But she has said she believes abortion should be allowed in certain circumstances, such as when the mother’s life is at risk.

But Ms. Malliotakis has also tried to distance herself from the court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Which reversed Roe v. Wade, saying she said in a recent interview that she “didn’t notice it.” Yet earlier this month, Congressmen voted against a pair of bills that would have banned states from restricting abortions and barred them from blocking access to out-of-state abortion services.

Republicans, who are expected to do well in November’s midterm elections, have long struggled to reverse the row. Yet some of the party’s candidates have not been quick to adopt Dobbs’ regime, wary of alienating voters who, according to polls, could be swayed by social issues that help Democrats.

Ms. Malliotakis is a prime example. Her district includes Staten Island and an agglomeration of southwest Brooklyn, some of the city’s most conservative areas. Yet New York remains a highly democratic city, and recent Supreme Court decisions were very unpopular here.

“People are struggling to put gas in their tanks, put food on their tables, pay their bills,” Ms Mallotakis said in a recent interview.

“For some people who are single-issue individuals, this could potentially have an impact,” she said of her statements on guns and abortion. “But I know that crime and pocketbook issues are the most important issues for the people I represent.”

Ms Mallotakis is expected to easily win her Republican primary next month against John Maitland, a woefully underrated opponent, preparing her for a potential rematch against Max Rose, Joe was a former Democratic congressman whom he ousted in 2020.

Mr Rose, a combat veteran who was wounded in Afghanistan and awarded a Bronze Star, has sought to link Malliotakis to the Capitol riot by extremist elements of the Republican Party, including Mr Trump, and supporters of the president. He’s running to protect the “soul of America.”

“Everything that was built on our country didn’t just spit on it: they tried to destroy it,” he said during a campaign walkout on July 11 in Bay Ridge. “And even after that — even after that — Nicole, and everyone else in Congress who was nearly killed, still voted to decertify.”

He openly scoffs at Ms Malliotakis’s seeming dichotomy on some hot-button issues, mocking her limited embrace of gun control, for example, as nothing more than “a few formal votes”. .

“When it came time to vote on the package, as she always does, she played both sides,” he said, referring to the ubiquitous bill. “He voted for it before he voted against it. Who knows what’s going on here?”

Mister Rose has also organized a handful of public events following the Supreme Court’s decision on abortion – including One in the Brooklyn district office of Ms. Mallotakis in Bay Ridge — to portray her as out of touch with her district, even on Staten Island, adding that the Congresswoman is “on the wrong side of history.”

“I generally believe that when it comes down to it, people tend to favor women, who have the opportunity to make decisions for themselves,” he said.

In recent weeks, Mr. Rose has continued that line of attack, noting that Congressmen “tweeted more than 180 times and issued 13 press releases” since Dobbs’ decision, but that “millions of women have lost their lives”. Nothing has been said about losing control of the body.”

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When asked specifically about Dobbs’ decision, which overturned Rowe, Ms Mallotakis balked.

“My constituents, they know nothing is going to change in New York,” she said. “The Supreme Court interprets the Constitution, so we have to accept the Supreme Court’s decision regardless.”

Ms Malliotakis’ comments have also given fodder to opponents on her right, including Maitland, a health care worker who lost her job for refusing vaccination, and who in the August 23 primary to Ms Malliotakis. were asking to be kicked out. A low budget, anti-establishment campaign.

Mr Maitland, who is making her first run for public office, said Ms Malliotakis has “often eroded the Republican base,” and that she has been voted into office only because of her name recognition – He has served five terms in the state. Assembly and ran unsuccessfully for Mayor of New York City in 2017 – and his district’s opposition to Democratic candidates.

“People say ‘I only voted for him’ – and I am guilty of that – ’cause I thought he was a much better choice than Max Rose,” said Mr Maitland, “and that’s the exact reason we are primary: so we can find a better option.”

Considering the prospect of a difficult year for Democrats at the national level, most observers believe Mr Rose will have an uphill battle in November, assuming he won his election in August against two challengers. Primary wins: Brittany Ramos Debros, a progressive community activist, and Komi Agoda-Kausama, teacher.

Mr Rose’s campaign also suffered a setback earlier this year when a state judge threw down new congressional lines drawn by Democrats that could tilt the district heavily in his favor. Reaffirmation lines drawn by a redistribution specialist in May left the district looking largely the same, although its portion of Brooklyn – about half the population as part of Staten Island – has led President Biden to attack Mr. Numbers supported. 2020 election.

Ms Mallotakis accused Mr Rose of entering the race only “because she thought they were going to change the lines in her favour.”

“The good news about reruns is that we know how they end,” Ms Mallotakis said of her rematch against Mr Rose.

“On balance, people care about ‘Are we safe? Are we financially comfortable? Do we have a bright future?'” said Mr Fosella, who is a supporter of Ms Malliotakis.

The road to re-election for Ms Malliotakis, 41, will include a major victory on the island’s south coast, a Republican stronghold, to offset more liberal neighborhoods in the north. And for South Coast residents like Edward Carey, a retired banking executive who winters in Florida but has a home in the Eltingville neighborhood, Ms. Mallotakis is already a sure thing. He noted Mr. Fosella’s support as well as other factors.

“She’s a Republican, she’s a woman, she’s young,” said Mr. Carey, 83, a registered Republican who said the last Democrat he voted for was John F. Kennedy. “That is good enough for me.”

Still, state Senator Diane J. Savino, a moderate Democrat who has represented the northern part of Staten Island for nearly two decades, said, “You can’t point to Staten Island voters.”

“It’s not whether they’re Republican or Democrat, left-leaning or right-leaning: it’s whether the candidate touches the Staten Islanders,” she said, noting the island’s recent history between the parties. “Anyone who thinks they can put their finger on the pulse of Staten Island voters doesn’t know what they’re talking about.”

He also criticized Ms Malliotakis for being arbitrary on important issues, but noted that voters do not care.

“So far, Nicole hasn’t noticed this,” said Ms. Savino, referring to Ms. Maliotakis’s anti-abortion votes in Washington and Albany. “Nobody ever holds him accountable. So I don’t think it’s going to affect voters here. What drives voters is whether they think they’ll have someone who’s going to fight for them in Washington.” Used to be.

Vin DeRosa, a patron of Jody’s Club Forest, a popular bar near the North Shore where Mr. Rose is known to drink, is a registered Democrat, but said he considers himself an independent who rather sticks to party lines. “Vote for the person”.

Mr DeRosa, a retired telecommunications professional, said he voted for Mr Rose in 2020, and he would probably do it again, if only because of Ms Malliotakis’s association with Trump.

“I’m not sure I want a congressman to call Mar-a-Lago,” said Mr. DeRosa, “to figure out what to do.”

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