As expected, New York Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis has officially been declared the winner in her Congressional race to unseat U.S. Representative Max Rose, who had conceded to her on November 12.
The Greek-American politician had declared victory after the concession but New York had continued to count the many absentee ballots that it received in the election.
This makes the daughter of a penniless Greek immigrant and a Cuban refugee the winner in a race that was marked by clearly delineated stances regarding the economy, police brutality and the way forward out of the coronavirus pandemic, which has hit New York City particularly hard.
It marks the return of the Republicans to the Congressional seat after just one term for Rose, who fell far short on Election Day but held out hope for some time that he might gain headway after ballots continued to be counted.
Representing Staten Island and part of Brooklyn, the only two conservative areas in an otherwise very liberal city, Malliotakis was a popular choice for a clear majority of voters. She will be the lone Republican on the entire slate of representatives from the state f New York.
The first-generation American, who has served ten years as an Assemblywoman, will take her oath of office in Washington DC in January.
The Associated Press did not call the race until December 1 due to the fact that the unusually large amount of mail-in ballots in this election had yet to be fully counted and the New York City Board of Elections had refused since the time of the vote to release information regarding the count.
Malliotakis had run on a platform including a return to law and order, the prudent reopening of restaurants and other businesses during the pandemic, and against any defunding of the police.
Rose had been photographed in a May demonstration standing next to a protester who held a sign saying “Blue Lives Murder.” This was deeply offensive to many in the law enforcement community and Staten Island is home to large numbers of police and first responder families.
Crime has also begun to increase in the New York area over the last year and Representative-elect Malliotakis had stated that she was against the emptying of jails due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Incumbent “Had not represented the values of the people of this district”
Malliotakis told Greek Reporter in an exclusive interview before the election that the incumbent “has not represented the values of the people of this district. He has supported policies that the people of the district disagree with.
“Ninety-seven percent of the time he has voted with Nancy Pelosi, from releasing convicted felons over the age of 50 — including violent ones — to amnesty for gang members to impeaching the President. He has supported these votes and they are not in sync with the views of this district,” she stated.
“He supports policies that Mayor de Blasio has brought forth that have made us less safe. For example, he supported ending cash bail, and the plan to close Riker’s Island (prison). And that is a prime issue in this campaign. Public safety has become a very big issue in New York,” she continued.
“My community is looking for someone who’s going to push back against these radical policies that have made us less safe. Shootings, murders, burglaries, car thefts, they have all skyrocketed in the last year. And we are going back to the 1980’s and we need to restore law and order to the streets of this city.”