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Rumors are swirling of a hotly-contested Senate race between new and old in 2022. Photo: Getty Images

Could AOC challenge Chuck Schumer in 2022?

The New York rep has hinted at bigger ambitions to get the change she wants.

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has hinted towards a 2022 primary challenge to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. 

The potential primary challenge has been rumored for years. 

Last February, even President Donald Trump insisted that if she ran against Schumer, she would win. 

However, Jay Jacobs, the chairman of New York’s State Democratic Committee, expressed a very different opinion to the New York Post last December. 

He urged Ocasio-Cortez not to run, predicting an absolute loss.

Jacobs also defended Schumer, stating that he has been a progressive force for decades and insisted that Ocasio-Cortez’s community would be devastated if she lost. He also felt she would only run based on ambition, rather than need.

On the contrary, Ocasio-Cortez initially did not want to run unless she deemed it necessary for her to make things more effective. 

“I don’t want to aspire to a quote-unquote higher position just for the sake of that title or just for the sake of having a different or higher position,” she told Vanity Fair

In an exclusive interview with the newly founded publication, Punchbowl, Ocasio-Cortez revealed that she is still deciding what the best move would be for her to take to ensure that issues of climate change, health care and inequality are actually addressed.

Ocasio-Cortez has been asked numerous times whether or not she would eventually challenge Schumer, but she hasn’t directly expressed a desire to do so until now. 

The 30-year-old Congresswoman and social media powerhouse explained that she is thinking about this decision from a long-term perspective. 

“If I want to have a child, I would want my child- or my nieces or nephews - to have guaranteed health care by the time they’re my age,” she said. 

The New York representative also said that she has an open relationship with Schumer and that they talk regularly. When asked if she felt that he was doing a good job, she declined to give a yes or no answer. Instead, she explained that Senate rules have changed, and that there are some things that cannot be done in the minority.

“I like to think of myself as a good-faith actor and not make unfair critiques. But I do wonder,” she continued. 

Currently, there is already a candidate in place for the 2022 Senate primaries in human rights activist Khaled Salem. If Ocasio-Cortez does run, it will definitely be a more competitive race. 

For Schumer, he still feels confident in his seat. 

When CNN asked him back in April about a possible challenge from Ocasio-Cortez, he responded about the current issues rather than directly answer the question. 

“Look, throughout my career, I have done my job. I’m totally focused on COVID, we are the epicenter. And I have found, throughout my career, you do your job well, everything else works out okay.”

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