Election 2022

Gay Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney concedes defeat

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloneyy
Rep. Sean Patrick MaloneyyPhoto: U.S. Congress

Out gay Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) has lost his reelection campaign. The powerful head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) is ending his time in Congress after 10 years.

Maloney lost to challenger New York state assembly member Michael Lawler (R). With 98% of precincts reporting, Maloney got 49.4% of votes and Lawler got 50.6%, according to the Associated Press. Maloney has conceded defeat.

Maloney, who positioned himself as a centrist Democrat, faced an uphill battle in New York’s newly drawn 17th Congressional District. He faced criticism before the primaries for choosing to run in the district, which other Democrats saw as easy to win, considering President Joe Biden won it by 10 points in the 2020 elections. Maloney defended his decision by noting that he lives in the 17th.

Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-NY), who is currently representing New York’s 17th and is one of the first Black and gay members of Congress, chose not to face Maloney and instead ran in the primary in the 10th Congressional District, where he lost to Daniel Goldman.

Lawler benefited from help from outside Republican groups. According to CNN, the Congressional Leadership Fund poured an estimated $6 million into his election.

“The only reason this race is close is because of the $9 million, or whatever it is, that was pumped into all these negative ads. It’s just insane. It’s an artillery,” said Rockland County Democratic Party chair John Gromada. “I don’t think it would be close at all if it weren’t for all that freaking money.”

More history-making LGBTQ candidates have been elected to state legislatures across the country

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