EXCLUSIVE - Republican New York State Assemblyman Colin Schmitt charges that Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney has "sold us out."
And that's a key reason why Schmitt on Tuesday launched a GOP challenge against the five-term congressman and chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which is the reelection arm of House Democrats.
Schmitt, in a national exclusive interview with Fox News, claimed that Maloney "has voted 100% of the time with Nancy Pelosi. He sold us out to get a partisan appointment of as chairman Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for his blind loyalty to Nancy Pelosi."
And he emphasized that New York's 18th Congressional District "deserves a congressman, not a Democratic campaign chair."
Schmitt, the son of a retired New York City Fire Department lieutenant and certified drug rehabilitation counselor, touts that he's "a local guy. I've spent my entire life here in the Hudson Valley."
While taking aim at Maloney, Schmitt also showcased his bipartisan record in the New York State Assembly, saying "I'm one of the most bipartisan legislators in entire state, working with anyone, working across the aisle to deliver real results for our Hudson Valley values, helping pass over 40 bills in my first term alone, despite being a member of the minority party."
Democrats currently hold a razor-thin majority in the House – their smallest since World War II – and Republicans aim in the 2022 midterms to win back control of the chamber that they lost in the 2018 elections.
But ousting Maloney won't be easy. Although former President Donald Trump won the district – which covers much of the northern suburbs and exurbs of New York City – by two points in his 2016 presidential victory, he lost it by five points to now-President Biden last November in his reelection defeat.
Maloney – after narrowly first winning election to Congress in 2012 and reelection two years later – won by double digits in his 2016, 2018 and 2020 reelections, including by nearly 13 points last November.
Schmitt – who along with his wife Nikki is a licensed commercial real estate agent – highlighted that "I have a proven track record in the Hudson Valley. We've won several elections to the state Assembly with overwhelming bipartisan support."
But Democratic sources point out that Maloney’s delivered billions of dollars to the Hudson Valley during his tenure on Capitol Hill. And they spotlight to Fox News that Maloney brought in $650,000 in fundraising the past three months, a record for the first quarter of an off-election year – with a healthy $1.2 million cash on hand.
"Right now, I am laser-focused on delivering results for the Hudson Valley and winning the war against COVID-19," the congressman said Tuesday in a statement after news broke of Schmitt’s announcement.
"Last month, I helped pass the American Rescue Plan Act, which sends $339 million to NY-18 counties, $122 million to our local cities, $55 million to our towns and villages, and $204 million to our school districts. This cash is going to restart our economy by putting checks in pockets, getting shots in arms, and sending kids back to school safely," Maloney emphasized.
And in a Facebook ad, Maloney took issue with Schmitt's bipartisan credentials, calling the state lawmaker one of "Trump's most fanatical supporters."
A separate source close to Maloney charged that "Schmitt is an insurrectionist who encouraged his supporters to march on the U.S. Capitol" during January's insurrection and predicted that "this seat is likely to become even more Democratic when the redistricting process is complete."