Independent candidate plans another bid for Maloney seat

A middle-school science teacher from Goshen who ran for Congress as an independent in 2014 – and peeled off more than 4,000 votes in a close race between the major-party candidates – has announced plans to run again next year for the seat held by Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney.

Scott Smith, a former Middletown alderman elected as a Democrat in 2009 and 2011, registered as an independent 2020 candidate for the 18th Congressional District in March and posted a video on his campaign website (, describing himself as a “foundationalist” who embraces the nation’s founding principles.

Smith overcame a petition challenge in 2014 to get on the ballot with Maloney and Republican Nan Hayworth, who were waging a rematch after Maloney unseated the one-term congresswoman in 2012. Maloney wound up beating Hayworth by 3,333 votes, or less than 2 percentage points, while Smith received 4,294 votes, or 2.4 percent of the total – more than the margin of victory.

Smith also registered as a congressional candidate in 2016 and 2018 but didn’t run in those years.

Chele Chiavacci Farley, the Republican who challenged U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand last year, also has gotten an early jump on next year’s 18th District race, registering as a candidate and announcing her campaign for that office last month.

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