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Rep. Maloney Declares Victory in Congressional Primary, Challenger Patel Has Yet to Concede

Rep. Carolyn Maloney and challenger Suraj Patel (Campaign Website / Instagram)

July 29, 2020 By Allie Griffin

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney declared victory Tuesday in a tight primary race.

Maloney, who was first elected to Congress in 1992, issued a statement yesterday saying she won the Democratic primary for the 12th district by about 3,700 votes after absentee ballots were counted.

The district includes Astoria, Long Island City as well as the east side of Manhattan and Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

“The Congresswoman is delighted, now that the Board of Elections has finished their preliminary scans of absentee ballots, to have a decisive winning margin of over 3,700 votes,” a campaign spokesperson said.

The Board of Elections (BOE), however, has yet to officially declare her the winner. Her challenger Suraj Patel has not formally conceded either — although he has acknowledged that she is ahead.

Maloney led Patel by just 648 votes on the night of the June 23 election. She generated about 41 percent of the votes, while Patel secured about 40 percent, according to the unofficial results from the BOE.

The long-time incumbent was able to extend her lead by a few percentage points when the large number of absentee ballots were counted.

Patel, an attorney and an adjunct professor at NYU, acknowledged — but downplayed — the Congresswoman’s apparent lead yesterday. He said he that there were a number of absentee ballots that were thrown out for minor reasons and he wants them counted.

“Today, six weeks [after election day] — and with more than 12,000 ballots rejected in our single district alone — the Board of Elections’ initial count of the record 95,000 votes in our race has been completed, and while no candidate secured a majority, we accept the result that has the incumbent ahead by less than 4 percent,” he said.

Patel is a co-plaintiff in a lawsuit seeking to reinstate the tossed ballots — some of which were thrown out for a missing postmark, at no fault of the voter.

“These voters are our neighbors, New Yorkers who took health precautions around voting out of a deep love for our City,” he said. “They are constituents of New York-12 and their intentions deserve to be heard.”

He added the outcome of the court ruling should be determined as early as this week.

This is Patel’s second time challenging Maloney, whom he lost to in 2018. Patel in that race took 41 percent of the vote in that race, compared to Maloney’s 59 percent.

Maloney was first elected to the 14th Congressional District in 1992 and has represented the 12th Congressional District since 2013.

She is expected to easily win the November general election for her seat.

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