May 2, 2023 - Politics & Policy

AOC to run for reelection, not Senate, in 2024

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, wearing a red dress and glasses.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) plans to run for reelection in 2024 rather than mounting a primary challenge to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), her spokesperson confirmed to Axios.

Why it matters: One of the highest-profile members of Congress, the 33-year-old member of the progressive “Squad” has perennially been looked to as a potential candidate for higher office.

What they’re saying: Ocasio-Cortez is “not planning to” challenge Gillibrand and is “planning to run for re-election” to her Bronx and Queens-based House seat, her communications director Lauren Hitt told Axios.

  • Her decision not to challenge Gillibrand, first reported by Politico, means the former presidential candidate can likely breathe a sigh of relief as she gears up to run for a third full term in the Senate.
  • Ocasio-Cortez, shortly after the 2020 election, told the New York Times of a potential Senate run: “I genuinely don’t know. I don’t even know if I want to be in politics. You know, for real, in the first six months of my term, I didn’t even know if I was going to run for re-election this year.”

The backdrop: A centrist when she was a swing-seat House member, Gillibrand has emerged as a progressive stalwart on women’s issues in the Senate, most recently spearheading an effort to include paid family leave in the Build Back Better Act.

  • Some on the left have argued that she is not as visible and outspoken as they would hope for a senator from the powerful Empire State, fueling rumors about a potential primary challenge.
  • Ocasio-Cortez was similarly seen as a potential challenger to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) last cycle, but she passed on that race as well and he faced no primary challenge.
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