Rep. Nita Lowey will not seek re-election in 2020Posted: Updated:
Rep. Nita M. Lowey (D-District 17) announced Thursday that she will not seek re-election next year.
The 16-term congresswoman, who chairs the powerful House Appropriations Committee, has been representing the people of Westchester, Rockland, Queens and the Bronx for the past 31 years.
Lowey says she made the decision during the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. She says she had time to reflect on her career and discuss retirement with her family.
With a year and a half left in office, Lowey shows no signs of slowing down.
Lowey says she will spend more time with her husband and family, but pledges to "continue working as hard as ever – with the same optimism and energy – through the end of this term in Congress.
"We expect to get a great deal done," she says.
When asked about her proudest accomplishments, her list includes funding projects to clean up and protect the Long Island Sound and the Hudson River, federal assistance for 9/11 responders and raising the legal alcohol limit.
"This saves lives when it comes to drunk driving. If you have .08, you shouldn't be behind the wheel of a car," she says.
News 12 asked her what she hopes her legacy is when she leaves office.
"I hope my legacy will be that I'm a congresswoman who cares about the district," she says.
Lowey's exit opens the door for a race for her seat in the House. So far, three contenders have already announced Democratic bids. It's rumored Chelsea Clinton is even considering a run.
Rep. Jose E. Serrano released a statement saying, "There are few members in Congress that I have worked with as closely throughout my entire career as Nita Lowey. As a fellow Bronxite, fellow member of the New York Congressional delegation, and fellow House Appropriations Committee member, we have fought more battles together than I can remember on behalf of our constituents and all New Yorkers. We actually joined the Appropriations Committee on the same day.