(January 26, 2022) — The New York Lotto‘s most famous personality is retiring after 32 years of captivating millions of New Yorkers with a dollar and dream. Now she is planning to run for Congress, as hundreds of past Lotto winners clamor to donate to her campaign.
Expecting Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to challenge Senator Chuck Schumer in this June’s Democratic Primary, Vega sees an opportunity in what would be an open Latino-majority congressional district that spans some of most marginalized neighborhoods of Queens and the Bronx. Vega is a longtime Democrat and expects the endorsement of the Bronx and Queens party organizations.
Ocasio-Cortez is being encouraged by progressive interest groups, labor unions, and anti-Wall Street interest groups to oust Schumer, who they see as lacking strategic instincts, communication skills, and charisma in his role as Senate Majority Leader. It’s widely rumored that major union groups — including the building trades — are planning to bankroll Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign upstate, including the influential union operative Paul Brown.
“Yolanda has instant, pervasive, stratospheric name recognition on day one,” a veteran political consultant posits. “And of course, she has such an outgoing, telegenic, charismatic personality. She has the x-factor. If it’s an open seat, she can’t be beat.”
Vega will not be making an official announcement until Ocasio-Cortez makes public her intention to challenge Schumer, which is expected ahead of petitioning processes that begin on March 1st.
Democrats have a 25-point enrollment advantage in the district.
If polling worsens for Senator Chuck Schumer he may chose to retire early rather than be defeated in his June 28th primary election contest. A sitting Majority Leader losing in his own primary would be a national embarrassment for the entire party. Schumer and other senior New York Democrats would prefer that he vacates his seat ahead of the defeat so that Governor Kathy Hochul could select a favored Democrat to fill the vacancy and seek the seat in the primary. The election calendar means a decision must come soon.
In retirement, Schumer has long planned to do some part-time lobbying work in Washington, and is likely to accept a tenured teaching position at Columbia University. Staffers of the Senator say that he would be open to a number of board positions for publicly traded firms based in New York, including JP Morgan Chase, Verizon, and Jet Blue.