As we prepare for the 2020 elections, Yesh Ginsburg and Steen Kirby will give a general overview of all 435 United States House of Representatives races. This is a basic overview to introduce you to the major candidates. All Partisan Lean numbers are taken from the Cook Partisan Voting Index. We will update this page as the races progress if anything noteworthy arises.

New York is too large a state to put all in one article. We will be splitting the Empire State’s 27 districts into three articles. This article contains the first nine districts, which have two of the six Republican districts in the state. All nine of the second group of districts have Democratic representatives, while four of the last nine have Republicans.

New York’s 1st Congressional District

Incumbent: Lee Zeldin (Republican, third term)

Partisan Lean: R+5

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Lee Zeldin (R) 139,027 51.49
Perry Gershon (D) 127,991 47.4

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Lee Zeldin (R) 188,499 55.19
Anna Throne-Holst (D) 135,278 39.61

Republican Candidate:

Lee Zeldin (campaign website)

Zeldin is a relatively moderate Republican who pairs the policy moderation with being an outspoken defender of President Trump. He mostly campaigns on his fiscally conservative record, as well as focusing on what he views as the extremes of the Democratic Party, most notably (but not limited to) issues relating to Israel and antisemitism.

Democratic Candidate:

Nancy Goroff (campaign website)

Goroff is a chemist by profession and political newcomer. She is relatively liberal and is campaigning on being someone her district can relate to, along with attacking what she views as poor Republican policies advocated by Zeldin and President Trump. Both parties are pouring money into this race as it looks to be a potentially vulnerable Republican seat.

New York’s 2nd Congressional District

Incumbent: Peter King (Republican, 14th term)

Partisan Lean: R+3

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Peter King (R) 128,078 53.11
Liuba Grechen Shirley (D) 113,074 46.89

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Peter King (R) 181,221 62.05
DuWayne Gregory (D) 110,812 37.95

Republican Candidate:

Andrew Garbarino (campaign website)

With King retiring this year, this seat is somewhat open. Garbarino is running on a pro-police and low taxes platform, as well as free market solutions to healthcare costs. He is also pushing a strong anti-China stance, particularly in regard to COVID-19.

Yesh’s notes: The relatively close 2018 race means that Democrats think they can flip this district. In fact, Gordon has so far outspent Garbarino and currently has more cash on hand.

Democratic Candidate:

Jackie Gordon (campaign website)

Gordon is a veteran who fought in both Iraq and Afghanistan. She is not yet campaigning on particular policies, though the goals she pushes forward, like lower middle class taxes and healthcare costs, are generally moderate.

New York’s 3rd Congressional District

Incumbent: Tom Suozzi (Democratic, second term)

Partisan Lean: D+1

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Tom Suozzi (D) 157,456 58.98
Dan DeBono (R) 109,514 41.02

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Tom Suozzi (D) 167,758 52.86
Jack Martins (R) 149,577 47.14

Republican Candidate:

George Devolder-Santos (campaign website)

Santos is a small government conservative running on the notion that left-wing politicians are currently making government too big. He is pushing free market solutions to healthcare and Senator Alexander’s climate change bill.

Democratic Candidate:

Tom Suozzi (campaign website)

Suozzi is a popular Democrat running on his long record in the community (far longer than just the two terms in this current seat). He has a sizable war chest saved up, though he likely won’t need it as Santos isn’t spending heavily yet.

New York’s 4th Congressional District

Incumbent: Kathleen Rice (Democratic, third term)

Partisan Lean: D+4

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Kathleen Rice (D) 159,535 61.33
Ameer Benno (R) 100,571 38.67

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Kathleen Rice (D) 185,286 59.55
David Gurfein (R) 125,865 40.45

Republican Candidate:

Douglas Tuman (campaign website)

Tuman is a unique candidate. Like most Republicans, he wants to lower taxes, and he proposes simplifying the tax code. Other than that, though, he’s in a political class of his own. He is campaigning to overhaul America’s infrastructure, how citizens interact with their Representatives, and how America interacts with the world so that the country will be better prepared for future pandemics like COVID-19.

Democratic Candidate:

Kathleen Rice (campaign website)

Rice calls herself a progressive Democrat, though she does not quite take the standard positions of the Bernie wing of the party. She is very liberal, though, focusing on climate change, immigration and criminal justice, among other issues.

New York’s 5th Congressional District

Incumbent: Gregory Meeks (Democratic, 11th term)

Partisan Lean: D+37

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Gregory Meeks (D) 160,500 100

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Gregory Meeks (D) 199,552 85.5
Michael O’Reilly (R) 30,257 12.96
Frank Francois (G) 3,583 1.54

Republican Candidate:

There is no Republican candidate in this race.

Yesh’s notes: There is a Libertarian in this race, Jay Sanchez, running on the very not-Libertarian notions of healthcare reform and trust-busting. Mostly he seems to be pushing for a new Constitutional Convention.

Democratic Candidate:

Gregory Meeks (campaign website)

Meeks is running on his record as a long-term, well-liked Congressman in a district that isn’t at all competitive.

New York’s 6th Congressional District

Incumbent: Grace Meng (Democratic, fourth term)

Partisan Lean: D+16

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Grace Meng (D) 111,646 90.88
Thomas Hillgardner (G) 11,209 9.12

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Grace Meng (D) 136,506 72.13
Danniel Maio (R) 50,617 26.75

Republican Candidate:

Thomas Zmich (campaign website)

Zmich is spending a surprising amount of money in a race he can’t win. He is campaigning against things he sees as left-wing ideas, anything from Socialism to Common Core.

Democratic Candidate:

Grace Meng (campaign website)

Meng is a progressive Democrat, staunchly fighting for Medicare for All and for strong policies to fight climate change. She is also campaigning against President Trump’s actions, always a popular decision in a deep blue district.

New York’s 7th Congressional District

Incumbent: Nydia Velazquez (Democratic, 14th term)

Partisan Lean: D+38

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Nydia Velazquez (D) 146,687 93.37
Joseph Lieberman (C) 8,670 5.52

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Nydia Velazquez (D) 172,146 90.78
Allen Romaguera (R) 17,478 9.22

Republican Candidate:

Brian Kelly

Kelly has no campaign website, no social media presence that I could find, and has not raised or spent any money.

Democratic Candidate:

Nydia Velazquez (campaign website)

Velazquez’s website is just a way to sign up for emails and donate. She doesn’t need one, though. A liberal Democrat, she has represented this district for decades and faces no serious competition moving forward.

New York’s 8th Congressional District

Incumbent: Hakeem Jeffries (Democratic, fourth term)

Partisan Lean: D+36

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Hakeem Jeffries (D) 180,376 94.24
Ernest Johnson (R) 9,997 5.22

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Hakeem Jeffries (D) 214,595 93.3
Daniel Cavanagh (C) 15,401 6.7

Republican Candidate:

Garfield Wallace

Wallace has no campaign internet presence and doesn’t seem to be actively campaigning.

Democratic Candidate:

Hakeem Jeffries (campaign website)

Jeffries is running on his record, including on rent regulation and criminal justice. Without a serious opponent in this race, it doesn’t matter much.

New York’s 9th Congressional District

Incumbent: Yvette Clarke (Democratic, seventh term)

Partisan Lean: D+34

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Yvette Clarke (D) 181,455 89.33
Lutchi Gayot (R) 20,901 10.29

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Yvette Clarke (D) 214,189 92.42
Allan Bellone (C) 17,576 7.58

Republican Candidate:

Constantin Jean-Pierre

Jean-Pierre is a moderate, almost liberal Republican on most issues. He is pushing for incremental healthcare reform, though he is very conservative on the border and immigration.

Democratic Candidate:

Yvette Clarke (campaign website)

Clark is a progressive Democrat, supporting Medicare for All and the Green New Deal. She is campaigning on her record and fighting against President Trump.

Overview

Republicans control two of these nine districts. It is highly unlikely that the GOP will expand that number, though one or both of its seats are definitely under threat in 2020.

Interested in the rest of our primers for other House races? We have them all listed on our primer home page.

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