Developing story. Updated June 25 , 6 PM ET
NEW YORK (TIP): House Oversight and Reform Chairwoman Rep. Carolyn Maloney is facing a primary challenge from Indian American Suraj Patel in New York’s 12th congressional district, which includes parts of Manhattan and Queens. Maloney, who defeated Patel with 60% of the vote in 2018 primary elections, is facing a much closer race this time around. Because of the significant volume of absentee ballots left to be counted, the tight margin may shift and the race likely will not be called until next week. Absentee ballots are still being counted and will be accepted until June 30, as long as they are postmarked by June 23.
As of June 24 morning, Maloney leads with 41.5 percent support, followed by Patel at 40 percent. Two years ago, New York University lecturer and former hotel executive Suraj Patel attempted to unseat longtime incumbent Rep. Carolyn Maloney in District 12. He fell short by about 20 points. This time, he’s only down by about 1.5 points and fewer than 1,000 votes. With as many as 109,500 absentee ballots outstanding in the district amid the coronavirus pandemic, Patel could very well close the gap in the coming weeks as they’re counted.
Patel said his campaign believed he would prevail as mail-in ballots are counted. “We are confident in our path to victory after a strong performance on Election Day, which traditionally favors establishment voters,” Patel said in a statement. “Over 58 percent of New Yorkers have rejected the incumbent’s politics of the past. We have a mandate for change, and the final tally will reflect that. We are proud to have run the best absentee ballot field program in this race, and now the energy and momentum is on our side. With thousands of votes outstanding — many from young voters and people of color — we will fight to ensure that every vote is counted, every voice is heard, and New Yorkers have the representation they deserve.”
On the other hand, a confident Maloney thanked voters for their support and did not signal any concern about the coming results.
“I am so grateful to all the voters who showed up yesterday, who voted early and who voted absentee to return me to Congress,” Maloney said. “This campaign was an opportunity not to just highlight my record of accomplishment and vision for a fairer future, but to talk about the opportunities ahead to advance police and criminal justice reform, to expand assistance to the millions impacted by COVID-19, and to hold President Trump accountable in what we are working to ensure are the final months of his disastrous presidency” she said in a statement.