STATEN ISLAND — New York’s 11th congressional district includes all of Staten Island and parts of South Brooklyn.
Freshman Democratic Rep. Max Rose was ushered into office two years ago as part of a blue wave in the House of Representatives.
However, the Army platoon leader, who is still with the New York Army National Guard, marches to the beat of his own drum. During the campaign, he produced a 15-second ad attacking not his opponent, but New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, also a Democrat. Rose has stressed his bipartisan tendencies.
"We don't know if Donald Trump or Joe Biden will be the next president, but we need someone in Congress who is willing to hold them accountable and work with them," Rose said.
Rose’s Republican challenger, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, is likely very familiar New York voters.
The daughter of Greek and Cuban immigrant parents challenged Mayor Bill de Blasio during his re-election campaign in 2017. Currently, Malliotakis likes to equate Rose to the mayor and other more left-leaning lawmakers.
"I think this is the opportunity for people in this district to send a message to Mayor de Blasio, AOC and to Max Rose," she said. "They want politicians that support the NYPD, not radical policies that make us less safe."
If you’ve been watching TV or clicked a video in New York lately, you know both candidates and their allies have spent millions attacking the each other.
Rose is hitting Malliotakis for special interest connections and her response to the pandemic. Malliotakis says Rose wants to defund police and is not as bipartisan as he claims. Each has essentially called the other a liar.
With the accusations flying, PIX11 News asked both candidates what voters of Staten Island and South Brooklyn are supposed to make of the confusion.
"It boils down to a very simple choice who can deliver results and stand up to both parties and continue to do what's right," Rose said.
"It's a matter of not taking [Rose] at his word, but look at what he's been doing," Malliotakis said.
Based on New York's City's history of counting votes slowly, particularly absentee ballots, it is unlikely this race will be resolved on Election Night.
New York City does not even begin counting all those absentee ballots until 48 hours after Election Day due to cross checking to make sure there is no double voting.