How Chuck Schumer Avoided a Primary Challenge From the Left

Democrats were floundering, and Senator Chuck Schumer had a lot on his plate.

His party couldn’t pass its legislative agenda, it had just suffered major electoral losses, and he had a long list of Biden administration nominees to shepherd through.

But despite his busy schedule, Schumer, the majority leader and a Democrat who embodies the party establishment, still took the time for a warm gesture to his native New York’s strong progressive left. Appearing live via video, he showed up at an inauguration celebration in December for the New York City Council’s most prominent incoming left-wing member, Tiffany Cabán, who took the oath of office with the help of Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Schumer’s attendance was in some ways just another stop on his always-packed New York itinerary. But the moment also vividly illustrated why — barring some extraordinary development — Schumer has attracted no serious left-wing challenger to his Senate re-election bid as Thursday’s primary filing deadline arrives, despite months of speculation about who might emerge.

“He’s been really relational,” said Cabán, who is a favorite of the New York City Democratic Socialists. “He shows up.”

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