Not in Westchester?
August 11, 2020


Who will succeed Congresswoman Nita Lowey, after 31 years serving the Hudson Valley and parts of New York City?
Who will succeed Congresswoman Nita Lowey, after 31 years serving the Hudson Valley and parts of New York City? Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

10-Plus Candidates Consider Primary Race For Nita Lowey's Congressional Seat

Politically speaking, 2020 is creeping into 2019. 

The field of candidates interested in running for U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey's congressional seat in Westchester and Rockland counties is growing weekly. Lowey, 82, of Harrison announced her retirement on Oct. 10 after serving 31 years. She now chairs the House Appropriations Committee.

There are three announced Democratic candidates for the 17th Congressional District seat. And there are at least five additional Democrats and two Republicans rounding up supporters and campaign cash for June 23, 2020 primary races. (Early voting begins on June 13 in New York state.)

The announced Democratic candidates for the 17th Congressional District seat are: State Sen. David Carlucci, who now represents parts of both counties; state Assemblyman David Buchwald from Westchester; and activist and nonprofit leader Mondaire Jones from Rockland. (New York state's presidential primary is on April 28, 2020.)

Democrats outnumber Republicans in the 17th district by 209,000 to 103,200 registered voters. There are more than 110,000 active voters in Lowey's district without affiliation to a political party, according to the state Board of Elections. About 56 percent of the active registered voters of the 17th District reside in Westchester County.

Jones, a Harvard Law School graduate, co-founded Rising Leaders Inc. and has worked for the Westchester County Law Department. He previously worked for the U.S. Department of Justice during the Obama Administration. Jones, the first to officially announce a primary campaign, has raised more than $218,000, according to his Sept. 30 federal campaign finance report.

Others who have considered a run in the 17th Congressional District include Republicans Josh Eisen of White Plains and Jarred Buchanan of Carmel. 

Other possible Democrats include Jo-Anna Rodriguez-Wheeler of Chappaqua, Luz Awilda Morena-Casanova of Yonkers, Lola Osoria of White Plains, David M. Katz of Orangeburg and Johnny Jabbour, a songwriter/producer.

Former 14-term state Assemblyman Richard L. Brodsky, a Democrat, reportedly is "being asked by a lot of people" to run for Lowey's seat. If interested, Brodsky would be the 11th possible candidate.

Rodriguez-Wheeler was a Bernie Sanders delegate in 2016. She also volunteered on Democratic campaigns for the late Geraldine Ferraro and Hillary Clinton of Chappaqua. (Ferraro, a native of Newburgh and U.S. congresswoman, became the first woman to run as vice president of the United States on Walter Mondale's 1984 ticket.) Rodriguez-Wheeler reportedly will make a formal announcement this month.

Osoria is a Bronx high school English teacher who has been talking about a possible congressional campaign since the summer, including on this June podcast.

Buchanan, a 2001 graduate of Lakeland High School, filed a federal candidate statement over the summer, but said in a Facebook post that he was dropping his bid. 

A native of Yorktown, Buchanan is a New York City police officer. Previously, Buchanan set early groundwork for a 2018 challenge to U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-Cold Spring.

In media reports last year, Buchanan said that he and Orange County Legislator James O’Donnell -- Maloney's eventual GOP challenger -- both pledged to Republican leaders in the four-county 18th Congressional District that they would not run against one another in a primary. 

Chelsea Clinton, daughter of Bill and Hillary Clinton of Chappaqua, has said she won't run, as reported here.

Someone who has long worked with Republican Rob Astorino of Mount Pleasant said that the former Westchester County executive's phone has been ringing off the hook. He was defeated by Democrat George Latimer of Rye in 2017, "Rob's telephone is exploding," Astorino's associate told Daily Voice Plus. "People are reaching out to him from all over New York and from Washington. He'd clearly be the best Republican candidate to run. Will see."

Astorino would make it a dozen primary candidates.