Rep. Nita Lowey Is Retiring; May Chelsea Clinton Search the Seat?

Consultant Nita M. Lowey, the primary girl to steer the highly effective Home Appropriations Committee, unexpectedly introduced on Thursday that she wouldn’t search re-election in 2020.

Ms. Lowey, a New York Democrat who was first elected in 1988, is a staunch ally of Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and she or he performed a key function within the price range negotiations that helped finish the nation’s longest authorities shutdown earlier this yr. She represents the northern suburbs of New York Metropolis, together with Westchester and Rockland Counties.

When Ms. Lowey, 82, arrived in Congress, she had few different feminine colleagues. She was persistently considered a trailblazer, from her stint as the primary girl to steer the marketing campaign arm for Home Democrats, to her ascent this yr to chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee.

However she was additionally amongst a gaggle of highly effective, long-serving New York Home members who had drawn energetic major challengers for subsequent yr. Mondaire Jones, a 32-year-old Harvard Regulation graduate who had labored within the Justice Division below former President Barack Obama, raised greater than $218,000 final quarter for his primary challenge to Ms. Lowey, arguing that the district wanted a extra energetic consultant.

Ms. Lowey’s announcement set off a wave of hypothesis about different potential contenders, together with Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of former President Invoice Clinton and Hillary Clinton.

Final yr, when requested if she envisioned operating for elected workplace, Chelsea Clinton informed The Journal News, which covers the Hudson Valley, that “if someone were to step down or retire,” she would “have to think if it’s the right choice for me.”

She didn’t point out any specific workplace, though she is clearly aware of Ms. Lowey’s district: Her mother and father’ home in Chappaqua, N.Y., is within the district. (Ms. Clinton doesn’t dwell in Westchester, however congressional candidates are usually not required to dwell within the district they characterize.)

Earlier than this yr, Ms. Lowey had never faced a primary challenge since first successful her seat. She additionally gained re-election simply in every of her basic elections, in a district thought of safely Democratic.

In an interview after her announcement, Ms. Lowey, who’s Jewish, mentioned the choice got here after reflection in the course of the Excessive Holy Days. Requested if a major problem contributed to her determination, Ms. Lowey replied, “Oh, that’s ridiculous.”

In her assertion asserting her determination, she referred to her efforts to require contraceptive insurance coverage protection for federal workers, and to extend gender fairness in federal medical analysis.

“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,” she mentioned.

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Emily Cochrane

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