On Thursday, Democratic Rep. Nita Lowey (NY-17) became the second Appropriations Committee chair in a row to announce retirement just months after first taking the gavel. But unlike New Jersey's Rodney Frelinghuysen, Lowey wasn't under serious threat from the other party back home. Her upscale Westchester County-based seat voted for Hillary Clinton 58 percent to 38 percent in 2016. Lowey, 82, has served since 1988 and has spent much of her term seeking to block funding for the president's proposed border wall. She had also drawn her first primary challenger in memory in Mondaire Jones, a 32-year-old former Obama Justice Department attorney who embraces Medicare for All, student loan cancellation and a Green New Deal and claimed the district needed a more energetic representative. Jones raised over $200,000 in the last quarter and would be the first gay black person elected to Congress. However, the 17th CD is far from the type of district that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (NY-14) and other progressive challengers have won. Ocasio-Cortez's district is just 24 percent white and has a median income of $48,000.
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