Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is “not planning” to primary Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in 2024.
There had been chatter that the far-left Democrat may be a potential contender for the Senate — including by her former aides.
However, Sen. Gillibrand announced her reelection campaign in January, and Politico reports that she appears to be clearing the field of potential challengers.
In a statement to Politico, a spokesperson for Ocasio-Cortez did not entirely rule out a run but said that she is “not planning” to primary Gillibrand, who has held the seat since 2009.
“She is not planning to run for Senate in 2024. She is not planning to primary Gillibrand,” Lauren Hitt, Ocasio-Cortez’s spokesperson, said.
Other potential challengers who have ruled out a run include former New York Rep. Mondaire Jones, Rep. Jamaal Bowman, and Rep. Ritchie Torres. Another name that has been floated is former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who declined to tell the outlet if he has any intentions of running.
Cuomo resigned in 2021 amid numerous allegations of sexual harassment.
“Sen. Gillibrand has represented our state incredibly well,” Isaac Goldberg, a Democratic consultant based in New York, told the outlet. “There’s no energy right now to go after someone who spends her time protecting the right to choose, fighting for paid leave, family leave, workers’ rights and a green economy and everything else Democrats in this state value.”
Jay Jacobs, chair of the New York Democratic Party, said that a primary challenge would be “divisive” and unnecessary.
“I think it’s divisive. And unless you think you can win, it’s divisive unnecessarily,” said Jacobs. “It’s using up resources we need to preserve for more coordinated work and the rest.”
“I’ve heard rumors and I’ve heard speculation, but I have not heard from any specific candidate that is giving it serious thought or beginning to raise money or hire staff,” Jacobs continued. “So my guess is, unless something emerges soon, it’s going to be just a lot of talk.”
Not everyone within the party shares Jacobs’ sentiment. Gillibrand has faced sharp accusations of not coming to New York unless it is an election season.
“[Gillibrand] effectively hasn’t been here until it’s been election time,” Michael Blake, a former Bronx-based assembly member and Democratic National Committee vice chair, told Politico. “She made a previous run for president. I don’t think her family even goes to school here in New York anymore. I mean, I think there’s a fair question of: Does she truly want to represent?”