Video: Max Rose delivers emotional farewell speech to Congress

NEW YORK (WABC) -- U.S. Rep. Max Rose gave an emotional farewell speech to Congress just days after it was made official that Republican Nicole Malliotakis had defeated Rose, denying the Democrat a second term.

On Thursday, Rose reflected on his last two years of service to New York's 11th Congressional District -- one of the few conservative-leaning parts of New York City.

"In the face of unimaginable adversity, we don't give up fighting until it doesn't matter what you look like or where you come from, but in this country you can accomplish your dreams. A safe America, a just America, our America," Rose said. "You know, in light of recent electoral results, some have begun to wonder if Democrats should soft-pedal the fight for equal justice, should take a step back from fighting for economic security, or even just give up. I am here to say absolutely not. Justice cannot wait. If you aren't willing to risk everything to build a better country, then you do not belong here in the first place."

Watch his full speech in the video player above

Malliotakis, a New York State Assembly member, opened a big lead over Rose on Election Day in a district that includes all of Staten Island and part of Brooklyn.

She declared victory on Nov. 3 and Rose conceded the race Nov. 12, but The Associated Press didn't call the race until Tuesday because New York City's Board of Elections refused for weeks to publicly release information about its count of a large number of absentee ballots.

With her victory, Malliotakis will become the only Republican in New York City's congressional delegation.

The race between Malliotakis and Rose, an Army combat veteran, played out over a year that saw violent clashes between protesters and police officers in New York City, and several months in which shootings in some parts of the city soared.
Malliotakis ran on a pro-law enforcement platform and sought to link Rose to Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is deeply unpopular on Staten Island, and to calls for defunding the police, which Rose says he does not support.

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To distance himself from de Blasio, Rose created an ad calling his fellow Democrat the "worst mayor ever." Malliotakis was a candidate for mayor against de Blasio in 2017.

The daughter of a Cuban immigrant mother and a Greek immigrant father, Malliotakis grew up on Staten Island and has represented parts of Staten Island and Brooklyn in the Assembly since 2011.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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