The Democratic party is holding its federal office primary on Tuesday, June 28. Incumbent Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney is seeking to retain the seat she has held since 1992, representing District 12, which includes Roosevelt Island. She is being challenged by businessman Peter Lindner.
Lindner, a 66-year-old Democrat who has voted for Maloney in the past, acknowledges he’s never been involved in politics, either through political clubs or working for a politician. He was inspired to run after feeling unsatisfied with the response from Maloney’s office when he went there with a constituent complaint.
A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Lindner says he would use his background in technology and statistical analysis to bring more data-driven solutions to the U.S. Capitol. He is campaigning on a platform that includes a ban on assault weapons, marijuana legalization, and a government subsidy that would cover $10 of a proposed $15 minimum wage.
Lindner says he is not focused on any particular issues pertaining to the 12th Congressional District, noting in public comments that there are no local matters he considers to be especially dire.
In her 24 years in office, Maloney has had an impact on the Island; getting cameras for the subway station over 20 years ago, winning funding for the Blackwell House restoration, and playing an instrumental role in saving the Island’s Post Office when it was slated to be eliminated. She obtained $4 million in federal funds to support ferry service. She called a meeting in the Island House community room in February 2003, bringing City and State housing agencies, the New York State attorney general’s office, and about 40 residents and Island officials together to solve a public safety issue.
She also obtained a $500,000 federal appropriation to support development of the FDR Four Freedoms Park. “It is completely fitting that the federal government will be providing support,” Maloney said at the time, observing that it would be New York City’s only memorial honoring “the president who led us through the Great Depression and the cataclysmic events of World War II.”
The federal office primary adds a confusing element to the electoral calendar for voters, as the presidential primary was held on April 19, and the primary for state and local offices, where voters will select candidates to appear on the November general election ballot for City Council and State legislature (among others), is being held on September 13. The only race on Tuesday’s ballot for Islanders is the Maloney-Lindner tilt for District 14.
With the Island—and the districts that encompass the Island—voting solidly Democratic, the primaries are the best opportunity for voters to make an impact on the election. With this in mind, the WIRE will devote significant resources to covering the September primary, including, for the first time, endorsements for a full slate of candidates.
The WIRE is endorsing Ms. Maloney for re-election in its June 25 edition.