Where Chelsea Clinton could run for office

August 6, 2013

Chelsea Clinton reiterated in an interview with CNN that aired Monday that she is open to running for political office in the future -- under the right circumstances.

"Not now,” Clinton stressed, adding: “I’m ... grateful to live in a city and a state and a country where I really believe in my elected officials, and their ethos and their competencies. Someday, if either of those weren’t true and I thought I could make more of a difference in the public sector, or if I didn’t like how my city or state or country were being run, I’d have to ask and answer that question.”

It's worth noting that Clinton's response was -- almost verbatim -- the same way she has answered this question before. But it's also clear that she's leaving that door open.

So if and when "someday" comes, just where might we see the next Clinton run for office?

Below, we review a few of the logical possibilities:

Congress: Clinton, 33, and husband Marc Mezvinsky recently reportedly bought a home in a building in the Gramercy Park/Murray Hill neighborhood of Manhattan's East Side.

Their home lies in the congressional district held by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D), who represents the East Side of Manhattan and western Queens. Maloney, 67, has represented the district for two decades and rarely faced a tough challenge. She easily turned aside a well-funded primary challenge in 2010 from hedge fund manager lawyer Reshma Saujani, 81 percent to 19 percent.

Before Clinton moved, there were rumors in 2011 that Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), now 76, might retire and Clinton would run in her district, which is north of New York City and contains much of Westchester County -- including the Chappaqua home of her parents. The rumors were quickly shot down, though.

Both Lowey and Maloney represent safe Democratic districts.

Of course, given Clinton's name and connections -- and the law -- it's not required that she would live in the district she runs in. And there are lots of congressional districts in and near New York City.

City Council: The city council is often a springboard for other offices, and particularly Congress; Maloney once served on it, for instance.

Clinton's new home lies in the 2nd district, held by Rosie Mendez, 50, who has served since 2005. Mendez is seeking reelection this year but faces a primary challenge.

New York City has stricter residency requirements for its city council seats than Congress does, and Clinton would likely need to purchase a second home if she went district-shopping.

Clinton lives relatively close to the 3rd and 4th districts, the former which is held by front-running mayoral candidate Christine Quinn. With Quinn running, the open-seat race is between two young candidates, Corey Johnson and Yetta Kurland. In the 4th, incumbent Dan Garodnick, 41, has served since 2006 and is running again.

Citywide office: There are a number of citywide offices that are up this year and come up again in 2017, when Clinton will be 37 years old.

Mayor and comptroller are getting all the attention this year, of course, but there are also public advocate and five borough presidents. (Clinton lives in the Manhattan borough, where current president Scott Stringer is vacating to run for comptroller against Eliot Spitzer.)

Other options: New York has two pretty ensconced senators. Sixty-two-year-old Chuck Schumer (D) has clear designs on becoming the next Senate majority leader, and 46-year-old Kirsten Gillibrand (D) has Hillary Clinton's old seat. One of them would essentially have to vacate his or her seat for Clinton to run.

Other statewide offices include governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and comptroller. These offices are up next year.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is heavily favored, with Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy being his running mate last time, and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) and Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli (D) are running for reelection as well. (For what it's worth, Clinton does not have a law degree, so AG would seem to be a very unlikely option.)

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix, the Post’s top political blog.
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