A year out, congressional race creating excitement

November 19, 2019 Paula Katinas
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Former ADA Joseph Caldarera latest to announce a run

SOUTH BROOKLYN — The field of candidates looking to challenge freshman U.S. Rep. Max Rose next year is getting a bit crowded.

Rose, a Democrat, will be running for re-election in November, 2020 in New York’s 11th Congressional District, a seat that takes in southwest Brooklyn and Staten Island. Rose, a U.S. Army veteran and Purple Heart recipient, first won the seat in November, 2018 and took office in January of this year.

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Republican Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis, who represents the 64th Assembly District (parts of Bay Ridge-Staten Island) announced several months ago that she intends to run against Rose. She is busy raising campaign funds and meeting with GOP leaders on Capitol Hill to garner support for her candidacy.

But Malliotakis would first have to win a Republican primary before taking on Rose.

Former Brooklyn assistant district attorney Joseph Caldarera recently announced that he is running for Rose’s House seat. Another Republican hopeful, Joey Saladino, AKA Joey Salads, a YouTube sensation, has already thrown his hat into the ring.

Caldarera, a former sex crimes prosecutor who resigned from his job to go into politics, kicked off his campaign with a rally on Staten Island last week

“As your congressman, I will not be loyal to the Washington establishment,” he told supporters. “I will not be loyal to the politicians who think they are owed favors. I will be loyal to you, the cops, the firefighters, the sanitation workers, the teachers, the nurses, the paramedics, the small business owners, the bus drivers, train operators and the city employees.”

Caldarera identified himself as the “only true Conservative” in the race, a clear signal that he plans to run to Malliotakis’ right.

Caldarera said the 11th C.D., which President Donald Trump won handily in 2016, deserves a candidate who “fully supports the president and his America First agenda and is fighting for the rights and prosperity of all American citizens.”

Trump could be a factor in the local House race. He will be at the top of the GOP ticket and remains popular in the Staten Island portion of the district. His popularity could help the Republican in the race.

Malliotakis, who first won her Assembly seat in 2010 and ran unsuccessfully against Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2017, is unfazed by the prospect of running in a primary, said Rob Ryan, her campaign spokesperson.

“Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis’ campaign for Congress has raised nearly $1 million and is 100 percent focused on defeating Max Rose in next November’s election so she can go to Washington to fight lower taxes, create jobs and improve healthcare for the people of the 11th Congressional District,” Ryan told the Home Reporter in an email.

ebrooklyn media/File photo
Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis

The National Republican Congressional Committee named Malliotakis one of its Young Guns.

Young Guns is a recruitment program that identifies promising candidates across the country who show signs of running successful House campaigns.

Meanwhile, Rose isn’t worried about his re-election, according to a campaign spokesperson.

“In less than a year, Max Rose passed the law to finally get the seawall built, successfully protected our toll discount, beat back FEMA’s secret efforts to raise premiums on homeowners and permanently funded the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. We wish Mr. Caldarara well as he tries to convince his fellow Republicans why he is a better choice than former lobbyist Nicole Malliotakis who has zero accomplishments and Joey Salads who urinates in his own mouth for YouTube views,” the spokesperson told the Home Reporter.

ebrooklyn media/File photo
Rep. Max Rose

The spokesperson was referring to a tweet Saladino wrote in 2018 in which he boasted, “I drank my piss today.”

The description of Malliotakis as a former lobbyist is misleading, according to her campaign.

Prior to winning her Assembly seat, Malliotakis was a community affairs representative for Con Edison. The company had a policy of having their community affairs representatives register as lobbyists because they came into contact with elected officials and Malliotakis never did any lobbying, her campaign said.

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