Republicans managed to flip four congressional seats in New York this midterm — a big and surprising pickup in a mostly lackluster election for the party nationally.
While New York Democrats in Congress are seeking answers as to what went wrong for their candidates, these newly elected Republicans have their own ideas about what went right.
What You Need To Know
- Republicans managed to flip four congressional seats in New York this midterm — two on Long Island, and two in the Hudson Valley.
- Republican Anthony D'Esposito flipped a district in southern Nassau County, crediting in part Rep. Lee Zeldin's strong showing in the race for governor
- D'Esposito says Republicans should use their slim House majority to focus on things that "mattered during this campaign," such as inflation and crime
- After their losses, NY congressional Democrats are calling for an after-action review. Some want state Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs gone
One of those incoming Republicans is former NYPD detective Anthony D’Esposito, who won a district in southern Nassau County that Joe Biden carried by more than 14 percentage points in 2020.
As to how he pulled that off, the congressman-elect points to several factors, including Rep. Lee Zeldin’s strong showing in the race for governor.
“I think it was a combination of a great team both up and down the ballot, the crime, and of course the things that affect people’s pocket — that’s what really mattered most,” he said.
Last week, several House Republican leaders announced plans to launch investigations next year, including into the business dealings of Biden’s son, Hunter. Given the major swing in his district, is that what D’Esposito thinks the primary focus for Republicans should be given their slim House majority?
“Representing Nassau County, which is a county where Democrats outnumber Republicans, I think we need to focus on the things that mattered during this campaign and the things that mattered were their pockets and crime,” he said.
To the north, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro flipped New York’s 19th district in the Hudson Valley.
Molinaro says the midterm results show Americans want leaders to work together, but he also argued New York Republicans in Congress now have a key role to play.
“It is our responsibility not only to provide the checks and balances and results here in Washington, but I think also to speak up when Albany acts in a way that New Yorkers don’t feel is appropriate for them,” he said.
Across the aisle, the losses have prompted soul searching and finger pointing by New York Democrats in the House. Some argue state Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs needs to go.
“I think there needs to be a thorough autopsy of what happened top to bottom, because I don’t think changing one person is going to be enough,” said Democratic Rep. Jamaal Bowman, who represents parts of The Bronx and Westchester County.