Maloney cuts her campaign a $900K check in contested Congressional race

Rep. Carolyn Maloney has continued to lead the pack in the race for Manhattan’s 12th Congressional District, according to a recent campaign filing. To do so, she became her own biggest donor.

Maloney personally loaned her own campaign $900,000 in addition to $594,000 that she secured in other donations from the end of March through June. Her campaign haul gives her a substantial monetary advantage over fellow Congress member Jerry Nadler and insurgent Suraj Patel, who respectively brought in $521,000 and $460,000 in donations over the same period.

A spokesperson for the Upper West Side legislator confirmed that the loan came from her congressional retirement account. She released a statement over the weekend saying that the loan is a reflection of her fight for progressive values.

“I take every race seriously —  including when it was announced that the Republican challenged district lines would change, along with a new primary election date of August 23, and worse that I would be drawn into a primary against my colleague,” Maloney wrote. “There was never a doubt that I would continue to fight for the people in my District. Thus, I decided to use some of my retirement savings to invest in this campaign.

Though the status of Maloney’s donation as a loan means that she can seek reimbursement from her campaign committee, campaign loans often end up being de facto donations that never fully get paid back. As City and State reported, Maloney loaned her campaign $300,000 during the previous election cycle and only reported repaying $50,000 thus far. 

As a result of the recent haul, Maloney has over $2 million heading into the August Democratic primary. Nadler has $1.2 million and Patel has $563,000. Ashmi Sheth, another Democratic insurgent, brought in $4,500 during the period but only has about $500 left on hand, according to the filing.

Both Patel and Nadler used the loan as an opportunity to criticize their well-healed opponent. 

“I’m the son of a chicken farmer — no fortune over here!” Nadler wrote on Twitter on Monday, before sending a fundraising email using the loan as a rationale the next day.

Patel, who has unsuccessfully challenged Maloney in the past two election cycles, pointed out that Maloney’s personal loan would have been capped under a campaign finance rule that was struck down under the Supreme Court’s conservative majority in May. The law barred candidates from recouping more than $250,000 in campaign funds in loans to their own campaign after the election.

“$900,000 in House retirement funds shows how lucrative careerism in Congress can be. The 60 years of incumbency in this race are desperate to hold onto their seats,” wrote Patel in a statement Monday.