Young New York politicians eye Congress amid redistribution chaos

More millennial lawmakers in New York are trying to unseat Albany for senior office after the state’s congressional card chaos.

Rep. Michael Lawler (R-Pearl River) is just the latest Pole in his 30s to announce he’s keeping an eye on the Beltway, The Post has learned.

“Republicans will very likely have a majority in the House of Representatives, and I will have the opportunity to represent the Hudson Valley and Rockland County in the House of Representatives, which is not possible in the State Assembly,” said Lawler, 35, who is running in the Republican primary to run for the newly drawn congressional district 17.

“We have a criminal justice crisis that is exploding across the country and we need leadership,” he added.

State Senator Alessandra Biaggi (D-Bronx), 36, and Rep. Colin Schmitt (R-New Windsor), 31, announced House campaigns months ago, while State Senator James Skoufis (D-Newburgh), 34, Rep. Robert Carroll (D- Brooklyn), 35, and Rep. Yuh-Line Niou (D-Manhattan), 38, are also considering pursuing their DC dreams.

New York Congressman Michael Lawler
New York Rep. Michael Lawler, 35, announced that he will be running in the Republican primary to represent Hudson Valley and Rockland County in the House of Representatives.
New York Assembly

Not to be outdone, Council member Carlina Rivera, 38, on Friday filed papers to appear in newly created 10th state Senator Brad Hoylman, 56.

“It’s her time. There is an opportunity. Politics needs opportunities and there won’t be another like this in 10 years and very few congressional seats ever become vacant,” longtime political adviser Hank Sheinkopf told The Post.

A source agreed that now is the time for ambitious young Polish women to step up.

State Senator Alessandra Biaggi
New York State Senator Alessandra Biaggi, 36, previously announced a bid for the House of Representatives.

“Over the past 14 years, all millennials have had to reassess their job prospects because of a global financial meltdown or global pandemic,” the source said. “There’s no reason why millennials in elected office should be any different.”

But achieving their dreams won’t be easy given the competition they face from boomers, Gen Xers and other millennial candidates.

Biaggi ran in a crowded Democratic primary to represent a district on Long Island.

Former New York Mayor Bill de Blasio
Former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio could find himself in a primary against much younger City Councilman Carlina Rivera.

Schmitt aimed to defeat incumbent Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-Hudson Valley) before Maloney announced plans to run for District 17, sparking outrage from allies of millennial incumbent Mondaire Jones (D-White Plains).

Skoufis previously beat Schmitt in a race for the 2016 Convention in the Hudson Valley’s newly drawn 17th Precinct, but has done so still to be decided whether he will run for Congress in Congressional District 18.

“Have you got a leaked final map,” he said rhetorically via text message Friday as he awaited details on final congressional lines.

Schmitt receives donations and logistical support from national Republicans and told The Post he believes rising prices on items like gasoline and shortages of baby formula will play a big part in the upcoming campaign.

“As a junior candidate running in my home county, solving these issues for those who have been there for me from day one is more important than anything,” he said.

The potentially competing dreams of Skoufis and Schmitt could equally be dashed by Maloney if Generation Xers bow to pressure to drop plans to run against Democratic Rep. Mondaire Jones in the neighboring 16th Precinct.

Final lineups for convention races will depend on the maps, which special champion Jonathan Cervas is now tasked with creating following last month’s Court of Appeals decision.

The lines released earlier this week turned state policy on its head by flouting many longstanding congressional district boundaries, helping to spark a bipartisan struggle among Democrats over who should run and where.

Assuming the lines hold, Sheinkopf said millennials like Lawler could gain a lot simply by taking a risk, especially if they’re Republicans looking to escape from one-party Democrat rule in Albany.

“He can remain in formaldehyde in the assembly or be a player in the House of Representatives … Plus, there’s a big raise and you get to travel and see the world at someone else’s expense,” Sheinkopf said of Lawler. “You can rot in the minority or be a star in the House of Representatives.”

Sean Patrick Maloney
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney is under pressure to leave his plan to Primary Rep. Mondaire Jones.

For his part, the congressional hopeful, who has a new girl, said he hasn’t focused on the generational relevance of his new campaign while balancing his political work.

“I’ve been in politics and government for a long time,” he said. “I think I have a way to win and serve my community on a larger scale.” Young New York politicians eye Congress amid redistribution chaos


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