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Hudson Valley News

Maloney Wins Third Term In NY's 18th Congressional District

Democratic Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney won re-election Tuesday to a third term in New York’s 18th congressional district. He defeated Republican Phil Oliva in the swing district that leans Democratic.

Congressman Maloney won re-election with nearly 51 percent of the vote to Oliva’s 41 percent.

“I’m very grateful to the people of the Hudson Valley for returning me to Washington for another two-year term on this contract,” Maloney says. “We’ve got a lot of work that we’re doing to get PCBs out of the Hudson River, to make sure our drinking water is safe in places like Hopewell Junction and Newburgh. We have a lot of work to do to make sure our trains are safer, both the commuter trains and the oil trains on the other side of the river, so there’s real work to do.”

Oliva, of Somers, says he is proud of the race he ran.

“I have mixed feelings. Obviously I would have liked to have won but we were outspent $2 million, roughly, to about $200,000,” Oliva says. “In spite of that, we still came within 10 points, and ours was the best performing effort against a congressional incumbent in all of New York state.”

Maloney, whose time in Congress has been with the minority party, has had to reach across the aisle to pass legislation, and says he will take a similar tack under Republican President-elect Donald Trump.

“What I have found in Congress is that you can always work with people if you know where to look. And the best place to look is on things where you ought to be able to agree, things like helping our veterans. I’ve worked across the aisle with Republicans like Carlos Curbelo in Florida to make sure we hire more vets as air traffic controllers. I’ve worked with people like Pete King on Long Island to renew the commuter tax credit,” Maloney says. “So if you can find common ground. you can get results. And that’s the approach I’m going to take with my new Republican colleagues in the Congress and with the new Republican president.”

Both were vocal supporters of their party’s presidential candidate. Maloney, who served as senior advisor in the Bill Clinton administration, campaigned for Chappaqua resident Hillary Clinton.

“Well I’m very disappointed because I know her and I think she’s a good person. I think she would have been a good public servant,” Maloney says. “I know she would have been a good partner to me on getting things done for the Hudson Valley.”

Meanwhile, Oliva says he is pleased with Trump’s victory.

“It is true, I stuck by Donald Trump. I didn’t agree with everything he said but I certainly believed he was the better choice for somebody who’s going to grow the economy, secure our nation and change Washington, and that’s why I was running,” Oliva says. “So I’m hopeful and optimistic that now he has this mandate to get things done, and whether it’s repealing and replacing Obamacare, which has not worked, whether it’s redoing the Iran nuclear deal which was a disaster, and eight Democrats in New York state agreed to that, securing the border once and for all, the tax and regulatory reform we so desperately need.”

Or, he says, addressing the refugee resettlement program. Oliva recently raised concern over news that Church World Service was opening a refugee resettlement office in Poughkeepsie. Maloney says election night sent a message.

“I think you’re seeing something very significant happening. I think both political parties are undergoing tremendous change. And some of that is very positive. We need to change the way we do things in the country,” Maloney says. “The system’s not working for far too many people and they let us know that last night, and I think all of us in public office need to listen to that.”

Oliva, who serves as senior advisor to Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, the Republican gubernatorial nominee in 2014, does not know whether he’ll again seek political office. The 18th district includes Orange, Putnam and parts of Dutchess and Westchester counties.  

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