The retirement of longtime New York Rep. Nita Lowey could open the door for a political newcomer with big political name — Chelsea Clinton.
“Is Chelsea Clinton going to make her move?” one New York Democrat asked shortly after learning of Lowey’s retirement.
Page Six first reported in 2016 that the former first daughter was being groomed for the 17th district seat. The district includes Rockland County and portions of Westchester, including the Chappaqua home of Bill and Hillary Clinton.
“Chelsea would be the next extension of the Clinton brand,” a source said at the time.
A spokesman for the Clinton family did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Another New York political source said local Democrats, rather than Chelsea herself, have expressed the most interest in a Clinton 2020 bid.
Other potential candidates include David Buchwald, a state assemblyman, David Carlucci, a state senator and original member of the Independent Democratic Conference, and White Plains Mayor Thomas Roach, sources say.
Lowey was facing the prospect of her first primary challenge in 2020 since entering office, Mondaire Jones, a left-wing Harvard Law graduate who served in President Obama’s Justice Department.
But the primary challenge wasn’t a factor in her decision, but rather a chance to enjoy retirement with her husband and end her career on the high note of making history as that first chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, according to a Democratic source familiar with her thinking.
Westchester County Democratic Committee Chairman Reginald LaFayette said he expects the race for Lowey’s successor to heat up immediately (“tomorrow morning,” he quipped).
“There are number of people who want to run for that seat,” LaFayette said.
There’s been speculation about Chelsea Clinton running, but LaFayette said he hadn’t yet “heard that from Chelsea Clinton’s lips or anyone close to her.”
“I don’t think no one would clear the field,” LaFayette said when asked of a Clinton run. “When you have a vacancy, there’s always a long line.”
Chelsea Clinton, 39, grew up in the White House while Bill Clinton was president. She joined Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail for her failed presidential bids. Most recently, she teamed up with her mom authoring “The Book of Gutsy Women.”
“There is no doubt Chelsea Clinton has the genes to be a formidable candidate in a New York race, but it just doesn’t appear she’ll be stumping with her own version of a pantsuit anytime soon. She’ll likely sit this one out,” said another New York political source.