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City & State Campaign Confidential: House primary challengers lay a cornerstone

By November 15, 2021No Comments

By Jeff Coltin | November 10, 2021

Candidates looking to mount 2022 primary challengers to congressional incumbents were all too happy to see their targets break with the party line on the big infrastructure bill vote. Manuel Casanova, a former airline sales manager, hasn’t even rolled out his campaign yet against Rep. Jamaal Bowman, but he put out a statement that he was “appalled and dismayed” that the rep for the northern Bronx and southern Westchester would give into “cynicism” and “throw a protest vote.” Casanova, a Chilean immigrant, is positioning himself to the right of the progressive Bowman, but he hired consultant Michael Oliva, who worked on Bowman ally Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s 2018 campaign. Also making hay of the infrastructure vote is Joe Caldarera, a lawyer who lost to Rep. Nicole Malliotakis in the GOP primary last year. But she voted for the $1 trillion bill, which he called “the nail in the coffin” of her support on the right, and is “strongly considering” a primary challenge that the Staten Island GOP would surely rather avoid.

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