Democrat Rep. Nita Lowey to retire at end of 2020

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Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), a senior member of the House Democratic caucus, has announced she will not run for re-election in 2020. 

Lowey’s retirement announcement is especially interesting because one long-rumored prospect to take over Lowey’s seat is none other than former first daughter Chelsea Clinton, according to the New York Post.

Sources said that local party leaders are already reaching out to Chelsea Clinton about running for Lowey’s seat, the New York Daily News reported on Thursday.

Nita Lowey stepping down in 2020

The 82-year-old Lowey was first elected to Congress in 1988 to represent New York’s 17th Congressional District. She twice achieved historic firsts for women in Congress, first as chairwoman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 2001, and then again later as the first chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee, The Hill reported.

In a prepared statement released to the media, Lowey announced, “After 31 years in the United States Congress, representing the people of Westchester, Rockland, Queens and the Bronx, I have decided not to seek re-election in 2020.”

The congresswoman continued: “I am honored that my colleagues in Congress elected me as the first Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee and will fight vigorously for House Democratic priorities as I negotiate spending bills for fiscal years 2020 and 2021. I look forward to more time with my husband Steve and our family, who have strongly supported my career in public service. I will continue working as hard as ever — with the same optimism and energy — through the end of this term in Congress.”

Rep. Chelsea Clinton?

The Hill noted that if Democrats should manage to retain the majority in the House following the 2020 election cycle, Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio would likely succeed Lowey as chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee in the next term.

As for who will succeed Lowey as the representative of New York’s 17th District, many eyes are turning toward Chelsea Clinton, who the Post reported was being “groomed” to replace Lowey as far back as 2016.

The Post noted that, in addition to places like Rockland and Westchester County, the district also happens to include Chappaqua, the Clinton family’s home base in New York.

An unnamed source told the Post at the time that while the Clintons would need time to recover from the crushing defeat they’d just experienced at the hands of President Donald Trump, Chelsea is the inevitable “next extension of the Clinton brand,” and noted that she’d already been highly visible both through her work with the Clinton Foundation and supporting her mother’s failed presidential bid on the campaign trail.

“There has been a lot of speculation within New York Democratic circles about Lowey’s retirement and Chelsea running for the seat. There is a belief that Chappaqua is a logical place for Chelsea to run, because it would be straightforward for her to raise money and build a powerful base,” the source added.

In an interview last year, Chelsea Clinton suggested she was open to the idea. “I think if someone were to step down or retire and I thought I could do a good job and it matched my talents, I’d have to think if it’s the right choice for me,” she said.

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