Once an intern in the office of the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Barend, 26, announced her first-ever run for elective office Thursday in New York's heavily-Republican 29th Congressional District.
The district, which occupies the area known as New York's "Southern Tier," gave 53 percent of its votes in the 2000 presidential election to President George Bush against 43 percent for former Vice President Al Gore.
Houghton, one of the most liberal Republicans in Congress, is retiring after nine terms. There are six Republicans currently vying for the party's nomination to replace him on the November ballot with no clear front-runner among them.
2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]