Chelsea Clinton Mulls Congressional Run from New York State; 18th District in Westchester County Considered Likely Choice


Chelsea NitaTalk 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.

RELATED: Washington Post, Chelsea Clinton steps into spotlight — but what does she want?

Chelsea, Chelsea, Chelsea! Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton spent years shunning the spotlight, Garbo-like, and rarely speaking in public. Now suddenly, she’s everywhere — and it seems like she’s gearing up for something. But what?

Politico: Chelsea Clinton steps into the spotlight

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.


"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.”

Matthew Dennis
Communications Director
Congresswoman Nita Lowey (NY-18)

"This is 100% false. She is not running for Congress in the 18th District or any other"

Matt McKenna
Communications Director
Bill Clinton

"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."

Jay Jacobs
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."

Reginald LaFayette
Westchester Democratic Chairman

LINKS BACK: Thanks Glenn for the Instalanche and John at Crooks and Liars. Also, Gabe at Memeorandum, Outside the Beltway, Daily Kos, Free Republic, Lucianne, New York Daily News, Hot Air, Taegan Goddard's Political Wire, The Weekly Standard, Drudge Report, Democratic Underground, USA TODAY, Daily Mail (UK), Albany Times-Union, Towelroad, New York Observer, ABC News, Washington Post, Death and Taxes Magazine.

Commenting on this Blog entry is closed.

John D'Alois on Thu, 10/27/2011 - 21:14

In the wacky world of politics, aren't the denials usually the precursor to the campaign? Just wondering. Is Noam still on suicide watch? This all coincides nicely with Halloween. Boooooooooo....

Warren Gross on Thu, 10/27/2011 - 18:39

Bob you have lassoed a whirlwind on this one. What do we know at this point? Cuomo will be very aggressively involved on redisricting. Chelsea has much more clout than Caroline, the new districting will be one that both parties will covet; name recognition will be critical, Lowey is near if not at retirement. Noam may be a candidate, but as I have said, there is certainly not a line of succession here. Demographics in State, its political clout, other factors would favor someone like Chelsea. Hillary is strong Independent draw, Bill hugely influential.

No sense in speculation now. Much more will be known in a few months, even more so in 2Q of 2012. Could check with the Mayans perhaps. Also, some of my sources in DC are saying that Harold Ford may want the seat and he was former representative from Tennessee and pretty well regarded.

Great reporting. Also, lady (think it is Pony) over on Trinity blog wrote an outstanding letter which I bring to attention of those who have not read it. I would caution jumping on Briceno. The trail leads closer to Korostoff; an "intern" indeed. This is the sort of stuff that happens routinely under that guys watch in elementary grades.

Inman on Thu, 10/27/2011 - 19:48

Why not Chelsea, too?

The wacked out celebrity crazed Democrats in this state voted her Yankee- cap wearing mother into the U.S. Senate

And anyway, why settle for this crummy congressional district? She's a Clinton. Democrat royalty, damn-it!

Give Plugs Biden his one-way Amtrack ride back to Dover and insure Obama's re-election with Mrs. Mezninsky as the V.P. for 2012.

Oh, wait. She's a hedge-fund 1% 'er, no?

(And we we're so close.)

MakeNewRoBetter on Wed, 10/26/2011 - 23:35

I'd vote for her over Lowey. When Loweys out Bramson won't have a job. Remember, she pays him over $85,000 in tax payer money for nothing.

Robert Cox's picture
Robert Cox on Thu, 10/27/2011 - 13:17
Title: $45,000

Last time I check, Noam was being paid $45,000 a year by Nita Lowey making him her highest paid political consultant.

MakeNewRoBetter on Sat, 10/29/2011 - 00:11

Last I heard it was $85,000. But that could have changed since 2010. The point of the matter is that Noam is get paid with taxpayer money as mayor and as Lowey's unnecessary consultant. So taxpayers are really paying Noam about $160,000 a year plus lifetime benefits and pension for driving New Rochelle into the gutter and writing long winded boring speeches for Lowey. What a waist of hard earned money.

John Imburgia on Wed, 10/26/2011 - 22:31

Since when does a Clinton need to be qualified to hold a congressional seat?

MakeNewRoBetter on Thu, 10/27/2011 - 01:45

Since when is Lowey qualified.

MakeNewRoBetter on Thu, 10/27/2011 - 01:50

Noam's not even qualified to fetch Chelsea coffee. The Clinton's have intelligent qualified professionals to assist them. Noam is a hack and more likely a plagiarist. Have you heard Nita's speeches, they are long winded and boring, just like Noam.

John Imburgia on Thu, 10/27/2011 - 10:23

I think Anonymous is actually Noam Bramson

Political Forechecker's picture
Political Forec... on Thu, 10/27/2011 - 10:53

They have taken away his shoe laces and belt and he is on 24 hour watch. He has been seen walking up and down Pinebrook counting Bramson Fertel Signs over and over.
Harvard University is running a study on Graduates who have failed to rise to the average success level of their institution. They are trying to figure our how so many have gone on to become leaders in Medicine, Law and Business while he has turned into New Rochelle's own version of Vinny the Chin Gigante walking Pinebrook. Last words being muttered I should have been for Ikea right after I was against it before I was for it. Hey Lou Hey Joseph help me we can lick this LeCount opposition I throw in the Armory and a Basketball Skating rink.

IggyBlume on Wed, 10/26/2011 - 20:15
Title: Correction

President and Secretary Clinton's home is in the hamlet of Chappaqua. Which is in the Town of New Castle. Which although close to the border, is well within Nita Lowey's 18th Congressional District. Not in Nan Hayworth's 19th. As currently drawn, that is. Who knows what will happen after the legislature has their way with gerrymandering. Nan Hayworth lives equally close to the border, but on the Bedford side. A slight shift north or south could make for an exciting race!

namenda on Wed, 10/26/2011 - 19:56
Title: Boy Blunder

Power play from the top of the Democratic Party.

Democratic Royality pushes aside Mayor in waiting.

That's my seat -- he thinks!!! Wow the temper tantrums and face contortions are going to be unbelievable.

Didn't the New Rochelle Dems. try to gerrymander all the Republicans out of business? Wouldn't it be ironic that it happens to him?

Perhaps those pics of Bramson as a pimp caught the eyes of the Democratic Leadership.

Keep up the great work --- Funtime.

John D'Alois on Wed, 10/26/2011 - 19:51

Can we "find" a seat for the Mayor like they're finding a seat for Chelsea? Or will his speech writing duties include another 4 terms of mayorial bliss?

Political Forechecker's picture
Political Forec... on Wed, 10/26/2011 - 19:47

This would be a quandry for me.
Happy to see the Boy Wonder mired as the Looser he is. But in this Happiness I realize we will never be rid of him.
Its like breaking a mirror we get 16 more years of Bad Luck.

Fifth Ave Guy on Wed, 10/26/2011 - 19:58

I felt the same about Idoni & was glad to see him go but promoting him wasn't the answer as his accomplishments in NR were sub-par.

As for Chelsea, does she have any connection to the 18th cd or is she just another liberal limousine carpet bagger like her mom?

onewhoknows on Wed, 11/02/2011 - 01:19

Go back to Arkansas and take your carpetbagging mom and dad with ya.

Political Forechecker's picture
Political Forec... on Wed, 10/26/2011 - 20:31

If you think giving out County permits is a promotion this was nothing but a means of keeping him from Bracelets and Shakles. He may as well be running a news stand.

Citizen Observer on Thu, 10/27/2011 - 13:35

To the bat mobile, or New Rochelle is doomed! Gotham (New Rochelle) We need a caped crusader! Who will organise this bunch of crusaders on this webite. It is no longer Ok to just to sit behind our screen names and do nothing but complain. We need someone to organise, Strength in numbers! Maybe a protest in front of city hall, before election day. With a message to our leaders, were not going to take it any longer. No more curruption, no more tax increases. No more lop sided negotioatios with the teachers. No more bad deals with developers. Enough is enough, good taxpayers, Rise up and take our city back!

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