With his endorsement, Schumer is the first major Democrat in the Empire State’s congressional delegation to take a side in the bruising intraparty brawl, which was triggered by a messy redistricting process earlier this year. Voters are poised to decide between the two heavyweights, each of whom chairs one of the most powerful committees in the House, on Aug. 23.
“New York has a lot of outstanding leaders, but few of them lead with the courage, conviction, and brilliant legislative effectiveness of my friend, Jerry Nadler,” Schumer said. “I’ve watched as time after time, Jerry — a critical partner of mine in the House — was right on the issues years before so many others.”
Both Maloney and Nadler began representing New York in Congress back in the 1990s and quickly rose through the ranks to powerful positions. Maloney chairs the House Oversight Committee, which has been conducting a high-profile inquiry into former President Donald Trump’s handling of presidential records. Nadler chairs the House Judiciary Committee.
Hailing from the same state and party, the two were viewed as allies in the House before a redistricting surprise merged their Upper East Side and Upper West Side Manhattan districts into the new 12th Congressional District. Both Maloney and Nadler refused to relocate to avoid a collision course.
The race quickly devolved into a bitter contest, with both sides tapping into identity politics to try to gain an edge over the other. Nadler has warned New Yorkers that should he lose, the state would lose its only Jewish House member. Meanwhile, Maloney has reminded voters that she is a woman while touting her pro-abortion rights bona fides in ads and campaign events.
“You cannot send a man to do a woman’s job,” she declared in a recent ad.
Maloney has sparked controversy for her handling of questions about whether President Joe Biden should pursue a second term in office. She has publicly asserted she does not believe Biden will pursue reelection despite the White House affirming he will.
Earlier this month, Maloney issued a public apology to Biden for doubting his intent to run for another term, stressing that she wants him to run, though she recently reiterated her belief that he will not run again.
Nadler has been coy about whether he would back a second Biden stint in the White House, arguing it’s too early to speculate.
Suraj Patel, a third candidate in the race who has surged in recent polling, was the sole candidate in the race to say Biden should seek a second term.
Schumer and Nadler served in the New York State Assembly together. They served again together in the House briefly during the 1990s prior to Schumer’s transition to the Senate.
The Washington Examiner reached out to a spokesperson for Schumer for comment.