Focusing on Community in the Face of Divisive Policy

For a conservative to hold office in the Big Apple, conventional wisdom dictates that a more centrist Republican candidate would be necessary. Which is why, for many, Dan Donovan of NY’s 11th is such an oddity. Donovan has been a prominent advocate for several fringe conservative causes. In 2017, he introduced legislation requiring Post Offices to display a portrait of Donald Trump, and he later authored a bill aimed at Antifa protesters following the tragedy of Charlottesville. Indeed, it’s surprising Donovan won his reelection campaign at all in 2016, let alone with comfortable 14% margin he did. But Donovan’s days in office might be numbered, thanks to his charismatic Democratic contender, Max Rose.

In many ways, Max Rose represents the pragmatism-over-ideology approach that has catapulted recent Democratic candidates like Conor Lamb to national prominence. An army veteran, Rose has a bronze star, a purple heart, and a combat infantry badge. Combined with his time in Afghanistan, Rose knows that true leadership knows no partisan ideology — only results. After he returned home, Rose devoted his time to helping those need. He first worked in the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office, focusing on the Begin Again program, which allowed thousands of people to resolve low-level offenses without fear of arrest. He also worked as Chief of Staff at Brightpoint Health, a non-profit focusing on healthcare for the underprivileged of New York.

The continual thread of Rose’s narrative is community. He’s focused on working with, and making positive changes for, his constituents. This is in contrast to Donovan, who has a track record of protesters disrupting his public appearances for failing to hold town halls. And with Donovan supporting some of Trump’s most divisive policies — such as the travel ban — in a district as diverse as Brooklyn and Staten Island, Rose’s message is likely resonate with voters.