Suraj Patel Jumps in, Challenges Maloney & Nadler in 12th

Suraj Patel Jumps in, Challenges Maloney & Nadler in 12th

Suraj Patel wasted little time after the new congressional districts were announced, leaping into the fray for the new 12th District. It stretches across Manhattan from the Hudson River to Roosevelt Island. And Patel made it instantly tougher for Representatives Carolyn Maloney or Jerry Nadler to win.

by David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

Suraj Patel and the New 12th Congressional District

Suraj Patel talks with Roosevelt Islanders at the CBN/RI Senior Center in 2018.

When an appointed Special Master unwound gerrymandered voter maps, he scrambled Manhattan, making a single district out of a multi-borough hodge-podge. Out of that came the 12th, and it combined areas currently represented by Maloney and Nadler inside. Both announced candidacies, meaning one or the other would leave office in January.

But now insurgent Suraj (Pronounced “Surge”) Patel makes it possible both will go. Patel nearly defeated Maloney in 2020 and may even have won if a recount had finished. The challenger conceded in a nod toward peace.

Suraj Patel is a 38-year-old progressive Democrat, an associate professor at NYU, and the son of Indian immigrants. He worked on Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008 before moving to Wall Street.

Patel ran for office in 2020 on a platform of universal basic income, the Green New Deal, free college, and Medicare for All—issues that animate the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. He supported the legalization of marijuana and wants to see an end to “the failed war on drugs.”

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