May 19, 2022
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Thursday that Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney should resign as leader of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee--a re-election apparatus designed to protect party incumbents in the House--if he follows through with his plan to take on Rep. Mondaire Jones in New York's newly redrawn 17th Congressional District.
"I don't think he should be DCCC chair if he's going to challenge another member," Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) toldPunchbowl News. "It's completely inappropriate."
"Given the resources he has at his helm, it creates a conflict of interest," Ocasio-Cortez toldPolitico, referring to the fact that Maloney could possibly tap into the DCCC's massive arsenal to give himself an edge.
Maloney, whose current jurisdiction is New York's 18th Congressional District, announced earlier this week that he intends to run against Jones in the neighboring 17th District, setting off a firestorm of progressive criticism.
According to a draft redistricting map, which won't be finalized until Friday, Jones represents three-quarters of the new 17th District's constituents, while Maloney represents just one-quarter. Nevertheless, the DCCC chair is still threatening to launch a primary challenge against a progressive incumbent rather than seeking re-election in the 18th District, where the vast majority of his supporters reside.
Calling Maloney's potential move "terrible" and "hypocritical," Ocasio-Cortez said that it's "particularly shameful" that the leader of the DCCC "cannot seem to take his redistricting on the chin."
As progressives have argued over the course of the week, Maloney's actions might compel Jones to challenge fellow first-term Rep. Jamaal Bowman in the 16th District, which would cause House progressives to lose a key member.
Regarding Maloney's decision to not run in the 18th District, Ocasio-Cortez said that "it absolutely further imperils our majority by him vacating that seat, leaving it open and also really intruding on the district of a wonderful member."
While the progressive lawmaker vowed to demand Maloney's resignation from his campaign leadership post if he runs against Jones, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) reiterated that she thinks Maloney is a "great chairman" of the DCCC.
"I'm not getting involved in the politics of New York and redistricting," Pelosi added, even as commentators warn that Maloney's actions could cost Democrats a seat in the House.
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