Assemblyman Mike Lawler resoundingly defeated four rivals in the 17th Congressional District’s Republican primary Tuesday night setting up a showdown against powerful five-term Democrat Sean Patrick Maloney in November.
The freshman Rockland County state legislator, who gathered with family, friends and supporters in his hometown of Pearl River, declared victory at about 9:45 p.m. and immediately turned his focus to Maloney.
“I’m grateful for everything everyone has done so far in this campaign but tonight I’m asking you to redouble your efforts because in just 10 weeks we’re going to make history,” Lawler said to his enthusiastic gathering. “We’re going to unseat the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.”
Lawler overwhelmed the competition, taking 71 percent of the Westchester and Putnam vote, according to unofficial results, over Somers Councilman William Faulkner, who finished second in both counties. He captured 80 percent of the vote in his home county over Rockland County Legislator Charles Falciglia.
Lawler also defeated Faulkner in the Conservative Party primary.
Moments before Lawler spoke, Maloney addressed his supporters in Peekskill after dispatching state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi by about 2-to-1 margins in Westchester and Rockland and 3-to-1 in Putnam.
Despite a newly-configured 17th District that has about 70,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans, Lawler said he would do well against Maloney, who he painted as “out of touch” for most residents. He said the Cold Spring Democrat has failed to deliver on a wide range of issues, including neglecting to raise or eliminate the cap on state and local property tax deductions, letting inflation and gas prices spiral out of control and supporting policies that have made citizens less safe.
Meanwhile, he has been helping progressives such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilan Omar in their re-election bids, Lawler said.
“People are looking for change, they’re looking for new leadership in the Hudson Valley and what we’ve got to do is build a coalition as we’ve done before and as we will do in this race,” Lawler said. “We’ve got to raise enough money to get the message out and we’ve got to take it to Sean Patrick Maloney. He has a record and his record is voting 100 percent of the time with Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi.”
Two years ago, Lawler defeated a seven-term Democrat in the 97th Assembly District where Republicans have traditionally been at a sizeable disadvantage as proof he can compete against a well-heeled incumbent. He also pointed to a recent poll conducted for his campaign that had him leading Maloney by two points in a head-to-head matchup.
“We need affordability. Inflation needs to be brought under control, gas prices need to be reduced, cost of goods need to be brought down,” said Lawler who had served as an adviser to from Westchester County executive Rob Astorino. “That is the primary focus. When I’m out campaigning, that’s what I’m hearing from families all across this district, Republicans, Democrats, independents.”
Martin has more than 30 years experience covering local news in Westchester and Putnam counties, including a frequent focus on zoning and planning issues. He has been editor-in-chief of The Examiner since its inception in 2007. Read more from Martin’s editor-author bio here. Read Martin’s archived work here: https://www.theexaminernews.com/author/martin-wilbur2007/