NEW YORK - Nine days after Election Day, Rep. Max Rose, a Democrat, has conceded the election to Republican challenger Nicole Malliotakis in New York City’s only congressional district that was considered a competitive race.
Malliotakis had declared victory on election night but at the time Rose said the race was too close to call. Neither Fox News nor The Associated Press has called the race yet but Malliotakis leads by a significant margin in the reported count so far.
"I have called to congratulate Congresswoman-elect Malliotakis on her win and concede the race," Rose said in a statement. "I promise every resident of the 11th Congressional District that we will ensure a smooth transition."
Malliotakis, 39, has served in Albany as a member of the Assembly since 2013. She campaigned by painting Rose as a liberal out of touch with the district’s values. She linked him to his fellow freshman member of Congress Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a self-described democratic socialist.
"To me, this is a very important election because we do have people who are pushing a socialist agenda," Malliotakis said at a September campaign rally where she brought out her mother, Vera, who fled Cuba in 1959.
She ran with support from President Donald Trump, who carried New York's 11th Congressional District in 2016 over Hillary Clinton. The district encompasses all of Staten Island and a slice of southern Brooklyn on the other side of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge.
In 2017, Malliotakis unsuccessfully challenged Mayor Bill de Blasio, whom she has forcefully criticized for years. In that campaign, she tried to distance herself from the president, who is unpopular in the city as a whole but has plenty of supporters on Staten Island.
In a TV ad that dropped in September, Malliotakis said, "Everybody knows Bill de Blasio is the country’s most radical mayor."
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Rose, 33, flipped the seat in 2018 during the Democratic midterm takeover in the House. Rose, who bills himself as a moderate, has also slammed de Blasio, a fellow Democrat, who is a virtual pariah in the conservative-leaning area.
"Bill de Blasio is the worst mayor in the history of New York City," Rose said in a digital ad that dropped in September.
After Rose, initially said in late 2019 that he didn’t support the impeachment inquiry into the president, he later changed course and voted for the articles of impeachment.
The two candidates took sharp swipes at each other during the campaign, which was marked by a barrage of negative advertisements.
One Malliotakis ad called Rose "radically dangerous" in his views on policing while the Democrat’s own spot labeled the assemblywoman a "first-class fraud."
With The Associated Press