Heard Around Town

Carolyn Maloney skips Met Gala to focus on politics

Passing on the ‘gilded glamour’ event may avoid a tricky point of contention in her reelection bid.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney at the 2021 Met Gala.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney at the 2021 Met Gala. Taylor Hill/WireImage

It’s fashion’s biggest night, but Rep. Carolyn Maloney – one of New York’s most sartorially minded members of Congress – will not be in attendance. While New York City Mayor Eric Adams, City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams, Comptroller Brad Lander and likely more members of the New York political world will be strutting the red carpet at the Met Gala tonight, Maloney’s team has told her that she needs to keep her eye on a different ball. After the state’s highest court threw out the congressional and state Senate district maps last week, Maloney is one of many candidates whose upcoming election has been thrown into disarray. “I don’t know when the election is and I don’t know where I’m running!” Maloney told City & State over the weekend. The 15-term representative hinted to City & State that she had been hoping to don a climate change-themed dress this year. But the gala’s Gilded Age theme may have been too hot to politically handle in a primary year. Maloney, whose district includes the Met, has been a frequent attendee of the gala, but the event has become something of a minefield for New York politicians looking to maintain some semblance of groundedness.

Last year, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez sported a gown emblazoned with a call to “Tax the Rich.” Depending on who you ask, it was either a hypocritical statement that fell flat at the high society gala or a crafty PR move that allowed AOC to have her cake and eat it too. Maloney, who in recent years has faced primary challenges from the left – this year from democratic socialist Rana Abdelhamid – is likely depriving her opponents of ammunition by skipping this year’s gala, the theme of which is “gilded glamour.”