It was a celebratory atmosphere inside the headquarters of Republican Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis as she declared victory over incumbent Democrat Rep. Max Rose in the 11th Congressional District race Tuesday night.
Despite a sizable deficit, Rose has not conceded and wants to wait for all votes to be counted to determine the winner in the district that includes all of Staten Island and a swath of Brooklyn from Bay Ridge to Gravesend.
As of 11:30 p.m., with 92.41 percent of precincts reporting, the New York City Board of Elections had Malliotakis with 58.3 percent of the vote (132,004) and Rose with 41.8 percent (95,086).
Gerard Kassar, chairman of the New York State Conservative Party, declared Malliotakis the winner of the race at around 9:30 p.m. via Twitter. Minutes later, she declared victory.
“Today, Staten Island and Southern Brooklyn sent a loud and clear message that will resonate from City Hall to the halls of Congress,” Malliotakis said. “This race was about the brave men and women of the NYPD and all our law enforcement and first responders; those who keep our city safe and rush into danger in our hour of need. Men and women who always have our back … and believe me, this is one elected official who will always have their back!
“This race was about a nation on the verge of losing its way and a political party that seems intent on leading us on a destructive path towards socialism. And members of that party, with names like Pelosi, Schiff, Nadler, AOC … and yes, Max Rose … who were all too happy to needlessly attempt to impeach our president, Donald Trump, and do or say anything to defeat him and our Republican Party.”
Over at Rose’s press conference at LiGreci’s Staaten, 697 Forest Ave., the incumbent stressed that he has not yet conceded despite the grim outlook.
“We came in tonight saying we may not know a winner at the end of this evening and that is still the case,” he said. “ At this moment there are more than 40,000 absentee ballots that were returned, with potentially 10,000 more in the mail. As a soldier who fought for our democracy, I believe every vote must be counted.”
Rose addressed his decision to march in a Black Lives Matter rally following the death of George Floyd, where attendees chanted to defund the NYPD.
“All too often in politics, we acknowledge the pain and fears of those who support us and dismiss those who don’t,” he said. “It’s tearing our country apart. Not all pain or fear is equal, but if we are going to unite this country, then we must listen when a community is hurting. Black parents worry a chance encounter could end with their baby boy or girl never coming home. And yes, the wife or husband of a police officer feels their heart leave their chest every time a tour starts, scared the love of their life may never walk back through the door.
“Only in our broken politics would it be controversial to believe both are legitimate fears. We must put aside the differences others would use to divide us and see the humanity in each other.”