2024 New York congressional battleground

2024 New York congressional races to watch

Seven seats that could determine the House majority.

Rep. Marc Molinaro is fighting to hang onto his seat.

Rep. Marc Molinaro is fighting to hang onto his seat. Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The last Congressional election was a big one for Republicans in New York, as they successfully flipped four districts in their favor. This was key to maintaining the slight Republican majority in the House. This cycle, Republicans are trying to hold onto the seats they won in 2022 – and some are doing it in less GOP-friendly districts than last time. Last election, the 17th Congressional District elected a Republican by a tiny margin of less than a point, and most of the districts Republicans flipped were by margins of less than 4 points. Democrats see these seats as vulnerable, and they are pouring resources into New York to try and win them back and defend the districts they almost lost. In the case of the 19th Congressional district, Democrat challenger Josh Riley so far has raised over $1.5 million more than Republican incumbent Marc Molinaro. Redistricting has also shaken things up and given an element of unpredictability to the race, as this will be the first Congressional general election to take place under the current lines. Many of the races across the state are sure to be close, but here is a rundown of the seven most contested battleground districts to watch going into November.

1st Congressional District 

Eastern Long Island, including most of Suffolk County

Candidates: Incumbent Rep. Nick LaLota (R,C), John Avlon (D)

2020 census demographics: 72% white, 15% Hispanic, 5% Asian, 4% Black

2022 election results (old lines): LaLota (R, C): 66%, Bridget Fleming (D): 44%

2020 presidential election results (current lines): Trump 51%, Biden 49%

What’s happening: The 1st Congressional District has voted for Republican representatives in every election cycle since 2014, and it became slightly more favorable to Republicans after the latest round of redistricting, so cable news pundit John Avlon faces a difficult race against incumbent Rep. Nick LaLota. On the other hand, LaLota’s only been in Congress for one term, and he lacks the name recognition of his predecessor Lee Zeldin. 

Avlon and the Democrat-aligned House Majority PAC contend that the district is still competitive and has the potential to be flipped. Avlon is coming off a somewhat competitive primary against Nancy Goroff, who ran for the seat in 2020.

LaLota was elected in 2022 after Zeldin gave up his seat to run for governor against Kathy Hochul. LaLota, a former Suffolk County Legislature chief of staff and bureaucrat, handily defeated Democrat Bridget Fleming in 2022. But Avlon, who’s married to a Republican commentator, is aiming for an old-school style of centrist, Clinton-esque politics.

LaLota has been an outspoken supporter of Donald Trump, and he is attempting to paint Avlon as a “Manhattan elitist.” LaLota has raised over $2.4 million with nearly $1.8 million cash on hand, and Avlon has raised over $1.7 million with nearly $600,000 cash on hand as of June 5. 

3rd Congressional District 

Northwest Long Island, including northern Nassau County and part of Suffolk and Queens Counties

Candidates: Incumbent Rep. Tom Suozzi (D), Mike LiPetri (R, C),  

2020 census demographics: 56% white, 24% Asian, 14% Hispanic, 3% Black

2022 election results (old lines): George Santos (R, C): 54%, Robert Zimmerman (D, WFP) 46%

2024 special election (current lines): Suozzi (D): 54%, Mazi Pilip (R, C): 46%

2020 presidential election results (current lines): Biden 56%, Trump 44%

What’s happening: After infamous former Rep. George Santos was ousted from Congress, Rep. Tom Suozzi took back his old seat in a high profile special election earlier this year against Nassau County Legislator Mazi Pilip. The win was a hallmark victory for the Democratic Party going into election season, as it gave them an additional seat in the House and created a blueprint for Democrat candidates campaigning in contentious races in purple districts. 

Nassau County Republicans selected Mike LiPetri to run against Suozzi in March. LiPetri is a former managing director at a lobbying firm and former New York Assembly member. In 2020, he lost the 2nd Congressional District Republican primary against Andrew Garbarino, who would go on to win the general election. This is the first time LiPetri has been a candidate in a congressional general election, and it is his first time facing off against Suozzi. 

Suozzi previously held the seat for the 3rd Congressional District from 2016 to 2022, when he left Congress to run unsuccessfully for governor of New York against Kathy Hochul. 

Suozzi won by a fairly strong margin of 8 percentage points against Pilip in the special election, and his enormous fundraising lead against LiPetri makes him the favorite for the general election as well despite LiPetri’s endorsement from former President Donald Trump. Suozzi has raised over $7.3 million with nearly $1.3 million cash on hand, while LiPetri has only raised a little over $200,000 with $130,000 cash on hand as of June 5. 

4th Congressional District 

Southwest Long Island, including southern Nassau County

Candidates: Incumbent Rep. Anthony D’Esposito (R,C), Laura Gillen (D, Common Sense Party)

2020 census demographics: 51% white, 22% Hispanic, 16% Black, 7% Asian

2022 election results (old lines): D’Esposito (R): 52%, Gillen (D, CSP): 48%

2020 presidential election results (current lines): Biden 57%, Trump 43% 

What’s happening: This will be the second time D’Esposito and Gillen face off in the general election. The 4th Congressional District saw minimal changes during the redistricting process, and in 2022, D’Esposito beat Gillen by around 4 points there. 

Democrats are hoping to flip the “toss-up” seat back into their control, and as a result Gillen is part of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s “Red to Blue” program, meaning she receives significant strategic guidance, as well as fundraising and organizational assistance from the committee. 

D’Esposito, meanwhile, is endorsed by Trump.

Both candidates began their political careers at the local level in the district. D’Esposito is a former councilman for the Town of Hempstead, and Gillen is the former Hempstead Town supervisor. 

D'Esposito has raised nearly $2.7 million with $1.5 million cash on hand, and Gillen has raised almost $1.9 million with $1.3 million cash on hand as of June 5. 

17th Congressional District

Lower Hudson Valley, including all of Rockland and Putnam Counties, as well as northern Westchester and part of southern Dutchess Counties

Candidates: Incumbent Rep. Mike Lawler (R), Mondaire Jones (D) 

2020 census demographics: 64% white, 20% Hispanic, 7% Black, 5% Asian

2022 election results (old lines): Lawler (R): 50.3%, Sean Patrick Maloney (D): 49.7%

2020 presidential election results (current lines): Biden: 55%, Trump: 45% 

What’s happening: This election will be the first time incumbent Lawler and candidate Jones face off against each other, and each has the same amount of experience in Congress. Jones was previously elected as the representative for the 17th Congressional District in 2020. In 2022 after redistricting, he left the district to attempt to run in the 10th Congressional District in New York City, but he lost the crowded Democratic primary election to Dan Goldman. 

Lawler previously served one term in the Assembly before winning his House seat in 2022 by a razor thin margin of less than 1 percentage point, unseating the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee: former Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney. 

This race is already full of twists and turns. City & State recently reported that Jones’ story about why he left the district to run in Brooklyn in 2022 wasn’t entirely accurate. Jones blamed Maloney for pushing him out of his district, but our reporting found that Maloney offered to drop out and let Jones run there. In another quirky election twist, Jones recently lost the Working Families Party primary to little-known candidate Anthony Frascone. Although the turnout was incredibly low with less than 500 total votes cast, and Jones will still run in the general election under the Democratic party, the loss of the second ballot line could harm him in this competitive race. Jones has had friction with the WFP ever since the party rescinded its endorsement of him for backing George Latimer in the extremely high-profile Latimer-Bowman Democratic primary. 

The district has a large Jewish population, and Lawler has been consistently vocal about his support for Israel. Jones was likely trying to address a potential weak point in his campaign by backing Latimer and distancing himself from Bowman, who is vocally critical of Israel. Lawler has raised a little over $4.9 million with $3.3 million cash on hand, and Jones has raised $4.7 million with $3.6 million cash on hand as of June 5.  

18th Congressional District

Mid-Hudson Valley, including all of Orange County and most of Dutchess County

Candidates: Incumbent Rep. Pat Ryan (D), Alison Esposito (R, C)

2020 census demographics: 63% white, 18% Hispanic, 10% Black, 3% Asian

2022 election results (old lines): Ryan (D): 50.6%, Colin Schmitt (R): 49.3% 

2020 presidential election results (current lines): Biden: 54%, Trump: 46% 

What’s happening: Rep. Pat Ryan, former Ulster County executive, was first elected to Congress in a 2022 special election in the 19th Congressional District to replace Antonio Delgado, who became lieutenant governor. After redistricting, Ryan ran in the new 18th Congressional District in the general election and won. He’s now seeking reelection.

Before her current bid for congress, Esposito ran as the Republican candidate for the lieutenant governor of New York, which she lost to Delgado in 2022. This race is the first time Esposito has run for Congress, and it is her first time facing off against Ryan. 

The 18th Congressional District is one of New York’s swing districts which Democrats currently control, and they are hoping to maintain the seat. Ryan has found success as a moderate Democrat by campaigning on abortion rights and criticizing the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, as well as calling for the federal government to take greater action regarding the surge of migrants in New York. He is likely to continue emphasizing these points going into the general election. 

Esposito has said that the Supreme Court was right to return the question of abortion rights to individual states, which may present a weak point in her campaign for this district. It remains to be seen if her appeals to law and order and border security will be enough to counter this potential weakness. Ryan has massively outraised her with $4.7 million raised as of June and with $1.6 million cash on hand. Esposito has raised $850,000 with $350,000 cash on hand as of June 5. 

19th Congressional District

Southern Tier, including all of Delaware, Ostego, Sullivan, Chanango, Broome, Columbia, Green and Tompkins Counties, as well as parts of Cortland, Rensselaer and Ulster Counties

Candidates: Incumbent Rep. Marc Molinaro (R), Josh Riley (D, WFP)

2020 census demographics: 80% white, 6% Hispanic, 4% Black, 4% Asian

2022 election results (old lines): Molinaro (R): 51%, Riley (D, WFP): 49%

2020 presidential election results (current lines): Biden: 52%, Trump: 48%

What’s happening: This election will be the second time Molinaro and Riley face off against each other. In 2022, Molinaro beat Riley by a slim margin for the 19th Congressional District seat. 

Before becoming a congressman, Molinaro was an Assembly member from 2006 to 2011. He then served as Dutchess County Executive before running as the Republican candidate for the 2018 gubernatorial election against Andrew Cuomo. Riley began his career in law, and he has previously worked as a staff assistant to former Rep. Maurice Hinchey and as a general counsel to former Sen. Al Franken. 

The 19th Congressional District has flipped between Republican and Democrat representatives quite frequently, and Democrats are dedicating resources to bring the seat back under their control, as evidenced by Riley’s fundraising. As of June, Riley had raised almost $4.6 million with $3.4 million cash on hand, while Molinaro raised a little more than $3 million with $1.75 million cash on hand. 

Riley is also backed by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee as part of its “Red to Blue” program, which means Democrats believe they have a strong chance of winning the election in November. Molinaro holds the incumbency advantage, but he won in 2022 by just 4500 votes, so this is likely to be a close race. 

22nd Congressional District

Central New York, including all of Madison, Onondaga and Cayuga Counties, as well as part of Cortland and Oneida Counties

Candidates: Incumbent Rep. Brandon Williams (R), John Mannion (D)

2020 census demographics: 76% white, 9% Black, 6% Hispanic, 4% Asian

2022 election results (old lines): Williams (R): 51%, Francis Conole (D): 49%

2020 presidential election results (current lines): Biden: 54%, Trump: 46%

What’s happening: Rep. Brandon Williams and state Sen. John Mannion are two candidates with relatively short political careers, and this will be their first time facing each other. The 22nd Congressional District tends to flip between Democrat and Republican representatives, and Williams won the 2022 election by just 1 percentage point. Redistricting also made the seat friendlier to Democrats, so this will be a competitive race. 

Mannion is a state senator who was first elected in 2020. In 2022 he won reelection by a mere 10 votes

Mannion has recently faced allegations of sexism and workplace harassment from former staffers. Despite this, he comfortably won the Democratic primary against his opponent Sarah Klee Hood by nearly 25 percentage points. Mannion has described the allegations against him as a smear campaign. Williams, son of a Dallas real estate titan, arrived in New York in 2010, according to his bio, where he “started an agribusiness.”

The non-partisan Cook Political Report has rated Williams as the most vulnerable Republican in the House, placing the race for 22nd Congressional District under the “lean Democrat” category. Williams has raised nearly $2.4 million with a little over $1 million cash on hand, and Mannion has raised a little over $850,000 with $200,000 cash on hand as of June 5.