According to recent reports, New York senator and Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand could face primary opposition from other party members as she gears up for her second run for reelection.
Last week, Gillibrand, who has held the position since 2009 when she was nominated by then-Gov. David Paterson, formally declared her candidacy for a third term. According to sources close to the campaigns, several of her more liberal congressional colleagues are reportedly considering running against her in the primary.
Defeating Gillibrand would be no easy task. The junior senator already has more than $4 million in campaign funds sitting in the bank, and she was reelected in 2018 with 67% of the vote.
But Ocasio-Cortez has also made herself a tough opponent, with the New York Democrat sitting on more than $5.4 million in campaign funds — a number that would likely skyrocket should she launch a campaign, according to Adams.
“If she ran for Senate, the fundraising that would come in from all around the country would easily make her competitive. And nobody campaigns like her. Everyone would come out,” he said. “The apparatus that would spring up around her would be unstoppable. People would fly in from other states to volunteer with her.”
Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY) could also be a formidable opponent to Gillibrand’s reelection bid, especially as he has acquired more powerful positions in the House over the last few years.
A source close to Torres had mentioned to the outlet that “there are rumblings in his circles pushing him to eventually go for the Senate.”
Despite the possible intraparty challenges to Gillibrand’s campaign, spokespeople for the New York Democrat have remained confident in her reelection chances.
“From making gun trafficking a federal crime to securing health benefits for 9/11 survivors and our veterans to bringing home millions of dollars to boost the economy, Senator Gillibrand has delivered for the people of New York,” said spokesman Evan Lukaske. “She’s confident New Yorkers will re-elect her.”