Talk of the Sound has learned that Chelsea Clinton may run for Congress next year.
Clinton has been approached by “the right people” in the New York Democratic Party, according to one source in Albany. While no decision has been made, Clinton is said to be “actively considering” a Congressional run from New York State in 2012.
Chelsea Clinton, 31, is the only child of former U.S. President Bill Clinton and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The discussions of running Chelsea Clinton for a house seat grew out of the redistricting plans currently underway in the New York State legislature in Albany.
The plan is to identify an open seat for Clinton in or around New York City where she currently resides with her husband, Marc Mezvinsky. While no specific district has been determined, New York City and Westchester are said to be the focus with New York’s 18th District considered a strong possibility. The 18th encompasses much of Westchester County,
just south of where her parents have maintained a home for the past 12 years.
Bill and Hillary Clinton have owned a home in New York’s
19th 18th Congressional District since 1999. The 19th is a swing district that went for Republican Nan Hayworth in 2010. The 18th District on the other hand is solidly Democratic. Barack Obama won the district in 2008 by 62% to 38%, John Kerry won in 2004 by 58% to 42%. Al Gore won the district 58% to 39%.
CORRECTION: The Westchester County Board of Elections has confirmed that the Clinton home in Chappaqua is in District 18.
One senior Democrat, a former elected official in New York, told Talk of the Sound that Democrats involved in the discussions are excited, seeing Chelsea Clinton as an “automatic win” for the Democrats in 2012.
The house seat from the New York 18th District is currently held by U.S. Representative Nita M. Lowey (D-NY). She will be 74 next year and is widely expected to retire from Congress in 2012.
Lowey has served in Congress for 22 years. From 1989 to 1993 she represented New York’s 20th District. After redistricting following the 1990 census she ran and won in New York’s 18th District in 1993 and has won re-election every year since.
For Lowey, a run by Chelsea Clinton would represent the second time that the Clinton family has intervened in her political career. In 2000, Lowey was considered the likely Democratic Senate candidate for the seat formerly held by the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. When Hillary Clinton expressed interest in running for Senate from New York in 1999, Lowey was forced to give way to the wife of the former President.
Chelsea Clinton graduated from Stanford University and earned two master’s degrees, one from Oxford in England, and another from Columbia University in New York City. She is currently enrolled in the doctoral program at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University.
Chelsea Clinton was active in her mother’s primary campaign for the Democratic Presidential Nomination in 2008.
In 2010, Chelsea Clinton married Marc Mezvinsky, 34, in Rhinebeck, NY, about an hour’s drive north of Westchester County. The couple currently reside in Manhattan.
Mezvinsky’s parents both served in Congress. Edward Mezvinsky was a Democratic Congressman from Iowa. Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky was a Democratic Congresswoman from Pennsylvania.
Should Chelsea Clinton make the run, the biggest loser would be New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson whose hopes to replace Lowey eleven years ago were dashed when Hillary Clinton jumped into the Senate race against Republican Rick Lazio, leaving Lowey in place and blocking Bramson from her Congressional seat. Bramson, who has labored for years as a paid political consultant and speechwriter for Lowey, would find himself the odd-man-out once again.
Mayor Bramson has served for 16 years on the New Rochelle City Council, the last 5 in the ceremonial position of Mayor. New Rochelle has a weak-Mayor form of municipal government with a city manager serving as chief executive.
Bramson is currently running for re-election against Republican Council Member Richard St. Paul.
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The specter of someone with the last name of Clinton edging into public service inevitably raises the prospect of public office – perhaps an appointment by her mother’s boss, the president of the United States, or by an old family friend, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Or perhaps a run for Congress. Clinton allies suggested that option as a possibility for her, either in New York City where she lives, or farther north.
Rep. Nita Lowey, an old family ally who represents the official Clinton home in Westchester County, turned 74 in July and two Clinton supporters suggested that Chelsea Clinton might be a natural for her seat should Lowey decide to retire in coming years.
“She’s coming into her own – she’s developing her own career,” said Basil Smikle, a former Clinton aide and New York political consultant who said he hadn’t been let in on any plans for the next Clinton generation.
“If she did [run for office], I would not be surprised, and I think she’d be great,” he said. “She’s obviously very intelligent, and she has the political genes to make her a successful candidate. New York State as a whole could use an injection of new, younger blood with some fresh ideas.”
Lowey, whose spokesman, Matt Dennis, stressed that she is running for reelection in 2012, didn’t dismiss the notion of another elected Clinton, in Westchester or anywhere else.
HERE COMES THE DENIALS:
“This story is a joke. Nita Lowey is running for reelection in 2012.”
“Congresswoman Lowey is 100% running for re-election in 2012. She is not retiring.”
Congresswoman Nita Lowey (NY-18)
“This is 100% false. She is not running for Congress in the 18th District or any other”
“She certainly has a star quality to her. She would be a formidable candidate. She’s bright, articulate, on top of the issues. It would be exciting, but I haven’t heard it.”
New York State Democratic Party Chairman
NYDN says Lafayette told them he has “heard no talk of Clinton running for Congress. LaFayette fully expects Lowey to run for re-election next year.”
Westchester Democratic Chairman
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