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New York State Sen. Alessandra Biaggi has been challenging Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) in the Hudson Valley at rallies, forums, and debates.



The NY-17 Congressional District, located in New York’s bucolic Hudson Valley, is home to an ugly political battle between Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), head of the national Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi (D-Bronx), an outspoken progressive insurgent.

Like other hot primary races, the stage for the fight was set by court-ordered redistricting, which scrambled both candidates’ plans. There was a primary in June for the governor’s race and other statewide offices, but the primary for congressional races was delayed until Aug. 23 so new maps could be drawn.

Newly revealed New York congressional and state senate boundaries cause chaos for the state’s Democratic Party

Biaggi launched a primary bid against Maloney in May after he rankled fellow Dems by running for a neighboring seat following the state’s redistricting mess. Maloney is currently serving as the representative for New York’s 18th congressional district.

However, he decided to run for the redrawn suburban 17th, which covers parts of Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess Counties, after Dem-crafted maps were ruled unconstitutional and his hometown of Cold Spring was no longer in the 18th.

Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.) decided to run for a different seat in the New York State Assembly, one that was open in the city of Manhattan. Biaggi then dropped plans to run for a Queens and Nassau County-centric House seat to challenge Maloney.

New York State Sen. Alessandra Biaggi, D-Bronx (left) and Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y. (right) Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney

Two powerhouse endorsements: The New York Times, which carries a lot of weight with the Democrats in the district’s suburbs and exurbs of New York City, along with the endorsement of former President Bill Clinton, whose Chappaqua home is in the area.

It’s interesting that Hillary Clinton hasn’t endorsed anyone yet, possibly out of respect for Biaggi, who helped her 2016 presidential campaign.

FILE – On Tuesday, October 27, 2020, in New York City, early voters used private voting booths at the Brooklyn Museum. The state Democrat-controlled Assembly and Senate passed legislation making it easier to sue over discriminatory voting policies and require communities with a history of civil right violations to get approval before changing election rules. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File) Bebeto Matthews/

Maloney is the first out New York congressman, and he has the support of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Nita Lowey, the Democrat who held the seat until she announced her retirement in 2020 and made way for Jones.

New York Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) announced his backing of Maloney on Saturday and was previously endorsed by state Sens. Peter Harckham and Elija Reichlin-Melnick, as well as Assembly members Chris Burdick, Sandy Galef and Ken Zebrowski, along with three members of the county legislatures, several labor union locals and the state AFL-CIO.

Locally, he boasts the support of several town supervisors and mayors including the leaders of Peekskill, Ossining and Nyack

State Sen. Alessandra Biaggi

Alessandra Biaggi, a New York state senator and the granddaughter of former Democratic congressman from the Bronx, Mario Biaggi (D-N.Y.), has the progressive star of Congress, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, on her side. Like Ocasio-Cortez, Biaggi has a history of challenging the authority of more moderate members of her party and is committed to an activist, working-class credo.

Having @AOC’s support today means the world to me. “Alessandra was able to break through and deliver a series of progressive wins for New York State — now, she’s ready to take her leadership to Congress.” — Alessandra Biaggi (@Biaggi4NY) June 7, 2022

The progressive firebrand leader stated that Biaggi would be a powerful ally for left-wing causes in Congress, while Maloney has steered a moderate course.

“We can count on her to stand with our movement on critical issues such as abortion rights, championing the Green New Deal and Medicare for All,” Ocasio-Cortez said in an endorsement

Biaggi also boasts the backing of actress Cynthia Nixon, who mounted a failed progressive challenge to ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the support of the left-leaning Working Families Party and the Sunrise Movement, along with a United Auto Workers union local.