The 2012 United States House of Representatives elections in New York were held on Tuesday, November 6, 2012 to elect the twenty-seven U.S. Representatives from the state, one from each of the state's twenty seven congressional districts, a loss of two seats following the 2010 United States Census. The elections coincided with the elections of other federal and state offices, including a quadrennial presidential election, and a U.S. Senate election. The two existing districts that were eliminated were District 9, held by Republican Rep. Bob Turner, and District 22, held by retiring Democratic Rep. Maurice Hinchey.
Party primary elections occurred June 26, 2012, with the general election coinciding with the national elections on November 6, 2012.
On Election Day, the Democratic Party regained two seats previously held by Republicans, while the Republican Party regained one seat previously held by a Democrat. In the 113th Congress, which is scheduled to meet beginning on January 3, 2013, the New York delegation will initially consist of 21 Democrats and six Republicans.
The district maps reflected a concerted effort to maintain whole counties and municipalities wherever possible (especially upstate) while grouping similar areas into common districts. This was in stark contrast to the heavily gerrymandered districts of the 2002 cycle. The most unusual portion of the district plan was the (perhaps unnecessary) renumbering: several adjacent districts (2 and 3, 8 and 10, 26 and 27) had their numerical designations swapped from their previous designations.
Democratic incumbent Carolyn McCarthy, who has represented the 4th district since 1997, is seeking re-election. On June 26, 2012, Nassau County Legislator Fran Becker, defeated Frank Scaturro in a primary election for the Republican nomination, while Scaturro defeated Becker in the Conservative Party primary as a write-in candidate. It is rare for a write-in candidate to defeat a candidate whose name is printed on the ballot in a Congressional primary in New York. The Independence Party and Working Families Party have endorsed McCarthy.
Incumbent Democrat Gregory Meeks defeated former New York City Councilman Alan Jennings, rapper Michael Scala, and Joseph Marthone in the Democratic primary. The Republican Party has endorsed Alan Jennings.
The 6th district will be an open seat, consisting mostly of territory from the former 5th and 9th districts. Neither of the two incumbents in those districts, Democrat Gary Ackerman from the 5th and Republican Bob Turner from the 9th, sought re-election. Ackerman, who represents most of the territory now in the 6th, is retiring, while Turner dropped out of the race in March 2012 to run against incumbent Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand in the United States Senate election in New York, 2012.
Democrat Yvette Clarke, who was redistricted from the 11th district and has represented that district since 2007, is expected to seek re-election. Sylvia Kinard, an attorney and the ex-wife of Bill Thompson (a current/former Democratic nominee for Mayor of New York City), will challenge Clarke.
On the night of the June 26 primary, it seemed as though the incumbent Rangel had defeated his closest challenger, State Senator Espaillat, by a 45%-40% margin; Rangel celebrated victory and Espaillat conceded defeat. However, as the counting continued, that margin narrowed considerably. A number of precincts were very late in reporting and Espaillat went to court claiming irregularities in that his supporters had been improperly turned away from polling locations. On Saturday July 7, 2012, Rangel received the primary victory by a margin of 990 votes. The New York City Board of Elections released that Rangel received 18,940 votes and Espaillat had 17,950. On July 9, 2012, Espaillat conceded the election to Rangel.
Current New York State Senator Rubén Díaz, Sr., a Democrat, has expressed interest in running for a Congressional seat, depending on the outcome of redistricting. Díaz, prior to redistricting, resides in the 7th district, represented by incument Democrat Joe Crowley, who has been redistricted to the 14th district.
The new district runs from Newtown Creek in Sunnyside and over LaGuardia Airport and over the three Long Island Sound bridges to the Pelham, Westchester, border.
Incumbent Democrat Nita Lowey, who was redistricted from the 18th district, will seek re-election.
Joe Carvin, the town supervisor of Rye, is the Republican nominee, after having withdrawn from his abortive effort to run in the U.S. senate election.
Frank Morganthaler, former Lieutenant of NYFD and private investigator, is challenging Nita Lowey and running on an independent line, We the People.
Army reservist Mark Rosen, who sought the seat in 2010 but was forced to drop out of the race after being deployed to Afghanistan, was expected to seek the Republican nomination. Rosen has since retired from the Army, which eliminates the threat of redeployment in this election cycle, but was redistricted out of the district and unable to run against Lowey a second time.
Republican Nan Hayworth, who was redistricted from the 19th district and has represented that district since January 2011, ran for re-election. State senator Greg Ball, who had considered challening Hayworth in the Republican primary, instead sought re-election. Democrat John Hall, who represented the 19th district from 2007 until 2011, announced in July 2011 that he would not run again.
Republican Chris Gibson, who was redistricted from the 20th district, has represented that district since 2011. With redistricting settled, the new 19th district went from being a Republican-leaning district to being a swing district. Because of the dissolution of Maurice Hinchey's district, much of that district, including all of Ulster and Sullivan counties, was dissolved into this new district. Ulster County Executive Mike Hein declined to seek the Democratic nomination. Former federal prosecutor and Ulster County Democratic Party chairman, Julian Schreibman, sought the Democratic nomination. Joel Tyner, a member of the Dutchess County legislature, also sought the Democratic nomination to challenge Gibson. Schreibman prevailed in the Democratic primary.
Gibson defeated Schreibman by a margin of 53.5% to 46.5%.
Republican businessman Matt Doheny, who unsuccessfully challenged Democratic incumbent Bill Owens (who was redistricted from the 23rd district) in 2010, chose to run again. Doheny secured the Independence Party line and the Conservative Party lines, the latter of which he did not have in 2010. Kelly Eustis, the 23-year-old executive director of One Nation PAC, eventually deciding against running. Jeff Stabins, an eccentric politician who until recently lived in Hernando County, Florida, expressed interest in the GOP nomination, having relocated to Sacketts Harbor, New York to seek the seat. Corrections officer Tim Stampfler announced his self-described long-shot candidacy in December 2011. Kellie Greene, an Oswego County native and theologian who most recently lived in Arizona, announced her intention to return to New York to primary Doheny in January 2012. Colton resident and anti-cancer activist Donald Hassig sought and received the Green Party nomination; Hassig appeared on the Green line despite the party's disavowal of him over his stance on immigration. Doheny defeated Greene in the Republican primary, and appeared on the Republican, Conservative, and Independence Party lines in the fall election. Hassig dropped out of the race November 3, endorsing Owens, but remained on the ballot.
Republican Richard Hanna, who was redistricted from the 24th district, had represented that district since 2011. Dan Lamb, district representative for outgoing 22nd District Representative Maurice Hinchey, also sought the seat, with Hinchey's endorsement. Hanna defeated Michael Kicinski, who was backed by Carl Paladino, Doug Hoffman and other Tea Party activists, in the Republican primary.
Incumbent Republican Tom Reed, who was redistricted from the 29th district, was elected to his seat in November 2010. Reed was initially noncomittal regarding re-election, stating in July 2011 that "Re-election is the farthest thing from my mind;" he officially announced for re-election on April 30, 2012. Under the proposed redistricting plan set forth by the special master, Tompkins County (currently in district 22) would be redistricted into Reed's district, which would pit candidates for that area up against Reed. Matthew Zeller, an Afghanistan warveteran and former CIA officer who unsuccessfully challenged Reed in 2010, has endorsed Tompkins County legislator Nate Shinagawa for the 23rd district seat. Nate Shinagawa won the Democratic Primary election over Leslie Danks Burke (also an Ithaca resident) and Melissa Dobson on June 26, 2012.
Republican Ann Marie Buerkle, who has represented the 25th district since 2011, sought re-election in the 24th district.Dan Maffei, who represented the 25th district from 2009 until 2011, and Brianne Murphy, an attorney, sought the Democratic nomination to challenge Buerkle. Tom Buckel, a member of the Onondaga County legislature, had considered seeking the Democratic nomination; however Buckel decided instead to run for the New York Supreme Court. On February 6, Robert Paul Spencer announced he would run in the Republican Primary against Buerkle, citing his opposition to Buerkle's vote in favor of the National Defense Authorization Act, which Spencer believed to be unconstitutional. Buerkle and Maffei won their respective party nominations and were joined on the general election ballot by Ursula Rozum, a 28-year-old public-transportation advocate serving as the Green Party nominee.
Incumbent Democrat Louise Slaughter, who was redistricted from the 28th district and has represented the Rochester metropolitan area since 1987, ran for re-election. Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks sought the Republican nomination. Andrew Decker, the sixth great-nephew of Betsy Ross, sought the Republican nomination.Gates Supervisor Mark Assini and former Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Fred Smerlas, who previously passed on a 2010 run, also mentioned possible runs.
On Election Day, Slaughter prevailed over Brooks by a 57.2% to 42.8% margin.
Incumbent Democrat Brian Higgins, who was redistricted from the 27th district, sought re-election. Although his district was expected to become more friendly to Democrats in redistricting, the defeat of Higgins' protege, Chris Fahey, to Republican-backed Democrat Michael P. Kearns in a New York State Assembly race led to the perception that Higgins may have been more vulnerable than previously believed. Previous names linked to runs on the Republican line included 2010 gubernatorial nominee Carl Paladino and former Bills running back Thurman Thomas, both of whom declined to seek the seat. Michael H. Madigan, a Grand Island businessman, served as the Republican nominee for the seat.
Incumbent Democrat Kathy Hochul, who was redistricted from the 26th district seat that she won in a June 2011 special election, sought election to her first full term. Former Erie County Executive Chris Collins and David Bellavia, whose petition to run in the 2011 election was rejected, faced each other in the Republican primary; Collins prevailed.