New York Dem. Party Chair Warns AOC Against Challenging Schumer

'I think it would be a primary driven by ambition more than by need...'

The chairman of the New York State Democratic Committee warned Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., against challenging Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., in the 2022 Democratic primary for the Senate seat currently held by Schumer.

“I think it would be a primary driven by ambition more than by need,” state party boss Jay Jacobs told the New York Post, adding he believes Ocasio–Cortez would “absolutely” lose to Schumer.

“Chuck Schumer has been a progressive force in the state for decades,” Jacobs continued. “[Ocasio–Cortez] has a constituency that admires her and supports her, and they’re in her community, and I think it would be a loss for them if she were to do that.”

Ocasio–Cortez has not directly expressed a desire to challenge Schumer, though some Republicans, including President Donald Trump, have speculated that she will.

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In April, she told Politico that she might never run for the Senate, and in October she hinted that her career in Congress might be short-lived.

“I don’t know if I’m really going to be staying in the House forever, or if I do stay in the House, what that would look like,” Ocasio–Cortez said. “I don’t see myself really staying where I’m at for the rest of my life.”

She has, however, called for Democrats to replace Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., though she admitted she’s not ready to be the one who takes them down.

“I do think that we need new leadership in the Democratic Party. … The internal dynamics of the House has made it such that there’s very little option for succession,” she said earlier this month.

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“It’s easy for someone to say, ‘Oh, well, you know, why don’t you run?’ but the House is extraordinarily complex, and I’m not ready,” she continued. “It can’t be me. I know that I couldn’t do that job.”

Trump predicted back in February that Ocasio–Cortez will launch a primary bid against Schumer. And unlike Jacobs, Trump believes she would win.

“I think she will kick his ass,” he said.

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