Democratic Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey of Harrison who is in her 16th term announced Oct. 10 that she will not seek re-election in 2020. On the afternoon of Oct. 13, New York state Assemblyman David Buchwald of White Plains announced that he will be seeking her seat.
“I want to thank Congressmember Nita Lowey for her years of service, her integrity and for being a strong progressive voice against the dangerous extremism of Donald Trump. I pledge to continue her work with the same integrity, progressive vision and true blue Democratic values. This will not be an easy election, but I have never shied away from a fight,” Buchwald said.
There had been speculation that others were interested in following Lowey when and if she decided to retire, including Chelsea Clinton, daughter of Bill and Hillary Clinton. Whether there will be other declared candidates and, possibly, a Democratic primary remained a matter for speculation.
In her announcement, Lowey said, “It is my deep honor and privilege to serve my community and my country, and I will always be grateful to the people who have entrusted me to represent them.” Her power in Congress increased when the Democrats took control of the House of Representatives and she was named chair of the House Appropriations Committee.
Lowey, 82, who represents Westchester and Rockland counties in the 17th Congressional District, said that she looks forward to spending more time with her husband and family, who “have strongly supported my career in public service.”
“As a longtime member of the House Appropriations Committee, I have secured funding to clean up and protect Long Island Sound and the Hudson River; increase access to Head Start, afterschool programs, and community health centers for thousands of local children and families; provide New York’s fair share of homeland security assistance; and make the commute across the Hudson easier and safer on the new Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge. In difficult times, including after September 11th and Superstorm Sandy, I have fought hard in Washington for federal assistance to recover and rebuild,” Lowey said.
“I authored legislation to institute the 0.08 standard of enforcement for drunk driving, which has dramatically reduced DWI fatalities. My legislation to require commonsense, clear allergy information on food labels has improved and saved countless lives. I am also proud of my successful efforts to require contraceptive insurance coverage for federal employees and to dramatically increase investments and gender equity in federal medical research,” she said.
“Thank you to the people of my district for the opportunity to serve. I will continue working as hard as ever – with the same optimism and energy – through the end of this term in Congress.”
In a statement, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo recalled, “Like my father before me, I have had the pleasure of working alongside Congresswoman Lowey and consider her to be a true partner in making New York a better place.” He said he was proud to have worked with her to get the new Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge built to replace the Tappan Zee Bridge. “I look forward to continuing our work together over the next year as we fight to build a better New York for all,” Cuomo said.
County Executive George Latimer said Westchester owes a heartfelt thank you to Lowey for her years of dedication to the county, and love of the people who live here. “She is one of our own, a proud Westchester resident who has fiercely advocated to make her district everyone’s top priority. Her impact will be felt for generations and her energy, quick wit and warm smile has become a fixture in Westchester,” he said.