In an interview with the Intercept, newly-elected Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) acknowledged the possibility that her party could be maneuvering to eliminate her district after the 2020 census.
While it’s generally agreed that New York will likely lose a seat in the House of Representatives – every decade the census determines how many seats each state gets, and while the city’s population continues to grow, New York state is losing population overall – a non-partisan redistricting committee will have final say in what the new boundaries will look like.
However, given Ocasio-Cortez’s ability to ruffle the feathers of establishment pols on both sides of the aisle – the Hill recently reported that at least one Democratic House member has called for the party to run a primary candidate against Ocasio-Cortez – it’s possible that Democrats on the committee could maneuver to simply eliminate her district altogether.
“I don’t know if that means that all of our districts are going to be redrawn dramatically, because they have been historically gerrymandered, or what will happen, but there’s certainly a possibility, if not a guarantee, that my district in the coming years will not look like my district today,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “So I think it’s entirely possible, and New York politics being what it is, we have no idea where things are going to go.”
As Ocasio-Cortez points out, New York’s House districts are famously gerrymandered, meaning that in her district as it’s currently drawn, whoever runs as a Democrat is a virtual lock to win. But given her popularity and national social media presence, Ocasio-Cortez could easily run in a neighboring district and have a good shot at beating another Democratic incumbent, one who is friendlier to the party line. That means party bigwigs have a reason to keep her district as is, or at least not to eliminate it outright.
“Maybe some people wouldn’t want trouble for themselves,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
And that seems to be the case, for now. At least on the record, there are very few Democrats lining up to challenge Ocasio-Cortez in a potential primary race in 2020. When the Daily Caller followed up on the story about Dems running a primary opponent against Ocasio-Cortez in 2020 and floated three names in New York politics as potential candidates, all three of those politicians scrambled to deny the possibility.
One of those names was that of state Sen. Julia Salazar, who quickly shot down the article’s premise via tweet.
“The Daily Caller is trash. 1. I would never primary @AOC, even if I lived in her district (which I do not). 2. I have no intentions of ever running for Congress,” she tweeted.