By Gabriela Resto-Montero
MANHATTAN — Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney rolled out some of New York's most powerful and influential women for a fund-raiser at the Yale Club one day after a female rival officially announced her insurgent primary bid for Maloney's Upper East Side seat.
Maloney, 63, had supporters including Gloria Steinem and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn in tow for the Midtown event, and has always enjoyed bedrock support from women's groups like the National Organization for Women and labor groups including firefighters and teamsters unions.
Upstart Reshma Saujani, 34, a hedge-fund manager who has served as a Hillary Clinton fundraiser, but has not held public office, has publicly stated that she will run on her Wall Street record — not away from it. She enjoys early support from Maureen White, a Democratic fundraiser and wife of financier Steven Rattner, and has reportedly raised more than $400,000 for her campaign.
"Reshma has gone around and met people in the district and they're looking for something new and they've been very encouraging," said Kevin Lawler, spokesperson for the campaign.
Maloney has lagged behind Saujani in fundraising this fall as she dealt with the unexpected death of her husband, Clifton Harlan Wells Maloney, during a climbing expedition in China, the New York Post reported.
Even so, Maloney outpaced Saujani's total, banking over $1.7 million for her war chest, according to the Daily News.
Prominent progressives fear that Saujani's campaign will endanger a safe and powerful congressional seat — Maloney is Chair of the Joint Economic Committee and serves on the House Committee on Financial Services and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
Saujani received strong support from District 14 residents when she explored her run, Lawler said.
The congresswoman expected to raise $100,000 at the breakfast, according to Brian Krapf, spokesperson for the Maloney campaign.