In House Race, Maloney Defeats Primary Rival
Beating back an aggressive challenger, United States Representative Carolyn B. Maloney easily won the Democratic Party’s nomination on Tuesday, according to early returns in one of the most expensive Congressional primaries this year.
With about 90 percent of the precincts reporting, Ms. Maloney, 64, had about 81 percent of the vote, while her opponent, Reshma Saujani, 34, a lawyer who has worked with hedge funds, had about 19 percent. The victory makes Ms. Maloney a heavy favorite to win a 10th term in the general election in November.
She will face Ryan Brumberg, the winner of a three-way race for the Republican nomination.
Ms. Maloney spoke to her supporters at the Grand Hyatt New York in Midtown just before 11 p.m. “You are my luck, and I am nobody’s congresswoman but yours,” she said. “I remain unbought and unbossed. It was an amazing win.”
Ms. Saujani, who raised more than $1.3 million in her bid to represent the 14th Congressional District, which includes the Upper East Side and parts of Queens, was Ms. Maloney’s most serious opposition to date.
The daughter of Indian immigrants who fled Uganda, Ms. Saujani built a coalition of supporters with the help of Steven L. Rattner, a powerful Democratic financier, and Diana L. Taylor, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s longtime companion and the former state superintendent of banking.
But Ms. Maloney was able to raise more than twice as much money as her opponent and had the strong support of labor unions and the Democratic establishment, including President Obama and the state’s two United States senators. The Upper East Side was once a Republican stronghold, but first elected Ms. Maloney to office in 1992.
The two Democrats had only minor differences on the issues but frequently traded snipes, repeatedly accusing each other of being too cozy with the financial industry. Both received sizable donations from Wall Street executives.
Ms. Saujani was a lawyer for several hedge funds, and Ms. Maloney is among the wealthiest members of Congress. Many voters in the district work in the financial industry and have bristled at efforts to regulate Wall Street.
Ms. Maloney helped create the financial reform bill that was signed into law this summer, saying it would bring stability to the industry while preventing excessive risks. She is the chairwoman of the Congressional Joint Economic Committee and introduced legislation meant to limit the amount of money credit card companies can charge their customers.
Ms. Saujani referred to Ms. Maloney as a “reliable but mediocre Democrat” and, in a radio debate, called her a liar.
Several Democrats, including Geraldine A. Ferraro, a former vice presidential candidate, chided Ms. Saujani for not following the traditional political protocol of running for a lower office first. Ms. Saujani has repeatedly said she intends to run in the next election cycle. “I have always said that the problem is that people feel like politicians lose and then they leave,” she said.