Rose concedes 11th congressional district race to Malliotakis

Malliotakis embraces Staten Island Republican County Chairman Brendan Lantry shortly after declaring victory on election night.
Photo by Todd Maisel

Democratic incumbent Max Rose has conceded to Republican challenger Nicole Malliotakis, nearly 10 days after Republican Nicole Malliotakis declared victory in the contentious congressional race in Staten Island and southern Brooklyn’s 11th district.

Malliotakis won more than 56 percent of in-person votes (136,382) in the swing district on election night. Rose claimed approximately 41 percent of the in-person vote (99,224), according to the state’s Board of Election figures.

While there are more than 40,000 outstanding absentee ballots in the race, Rose would have had to have received close to 90 percent of those votes to trump Malliotakis.

“As we continue to count every ballot and are on track to dramatically narrow the gap by tens of thousands of votes to a 4-5 point margin, it is now clear that we will fall short of 50.1 percent,” Rose said in a statement on Nov. 12. “I have called to congratulate Congresswoman-elect Malliotakis on her win and concede the race. I promise every resident of the 11th congressional district that we will ensure a smooth transition.”

Malliotakis defeated Rose in Staten Island as well as in the district’s Brooklyn side, which includes Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, and Gravesend. On the Rock, she garnered 52 percent of the vote with 126,061 votes, while Rose garnered just north of 40 percent of the vote with 97,328 votes, according to the Board of Elections.

Malliotakis’ lead was narrower in southern Brooklyn, where she won over 47 percent of voters, at 29,293 votes, while Rose won just under 44 percent, at 27,196 votes.

The sitting congressman said in a statement Thursday that he was proud of his accomplishments in his first and only term.

“I am immensely proud of everything we accomplished in the last two years including, but not limited to: permanently funding the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, making real and significant progress to combat the opioid epidemic, securing millions to improve our commutes, enacting split tolling to take thousands of cars off the expressways at no cost to commuters, and cutting through the red tape to finally begin construction of the East Shore Seawall,” Rose said, adding that representing the district has been “the honor of my life.”

“Thank you for this privilege,” he said. “I love Staten Island and Brooklyn. This is our home. No matter the challenges we face, I will be on the frontlines with you fighting to make this city and country a better, safer, and more united place.”

On election night, five-term Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis said her victory would “resonate from New York’s City Hall to the halls of Congress,” and slammed the city and state’s Democratic leaders for misunderstanding the district.

“They don’t understand the voters of the 11th congressional district; they are good and decent people who can’t be bought and won’t tolerate being lied to,” she said.

The heated race for the 11th Congressional District was among the most-watched in the country, as Rose fought to hold onto his post in a district that voted overwhelmingly for President Donald Trump in 2016.

Rose, a Park Slope native, served in the armed forces for five years and earned a Purple Heart in the War in Afghanistan after his vehicle hit an improvised explosive device, injuring him. He served in New York’s National Guard before successfully running for congress in 2018, narrowly beating Republican incumbent Dan Donovan.

A Staten Island native, Malliotakis was first elected to the state Assembly in 2010 to represent East New York and New Lots. Since 2012, she has served as assemblywoman in the 64th district covering northeast Staten Island and a sliver of Bay Ridge. Malliotakis ran against Mayor Bill de Blasio on the Republican ticket during his reelection campaign in 2017.

Malliotakis, who won an endorsement from President Donald Trump during her campaign, positioned herself a the “law and order” candidate who aimed to reel in the left-leaning policies of New York City Democrats.

In a statement Thursday, the congresswoman-elect thanked her predecessor for his service.

“I received a gracious phone call from Rep. Max Rose today conceding the election. I want to thank him for his service to our nation in both the military and in Congress. We agreed to work together on a seamless transition to best serve our constituents,” Malliotakis wrote on Twitter. “I thank my family, friends and supporters for their hard work and commitment to our campaign. Time to get to work!”

In an extended statement emailed to supporters, Malliotakis — who is currently in Washington, D.C. for orientation — made clear her priorities as she prepares to take office.

“I also want all constituents of the 11th Congressional District to know that I will continue my fight for safe streets, to rein in taxes, rebuild our economy and to preserve the American Dream against the crawl of socialism for future generations,” she said. “Just like we recovered and rebuilt following Hurricane Sandy, we will overcome the COVID-19 pandemic and make Staten Island and Brooklyn safer, stronger and more resilient. Rest assured I will be a fighter for the principles I espoused on the campaign trail and the issues that benefit my constituents.”