Rep. Jamaal Bowman loses N.Y. House Democratic primary to George Latimer


Category:  News & Politics

Via:  george  •  3 weeks ago  •  6 comments

By:   NBC News

Rep. Jamaal Bowman loses N.Y. House Democratic primary to George Latimer
NBC News projects George Latimer defeated Jamaal Bowman after a bitter and expensive Democratic primary in New York's 16th District.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

June 25, 2024, 11:00 PM UTC / Updated June 26, 2024, 11:49 AM UTCBy Scott Wong and Bridget Bowman

Progressive Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., suffered a primary defeat Tuesday to a moderate challenger who was backed by pro-Israel groups, NBC News projected, following a bitter and expensive race that exposed the party's divisions over the war in Gaza.

The race between Bowman and Westchester County Executive George Latimer in New York's 16th District drew more ad spending — $25 million, according to the ad tracking firm AdImpact — than any other House primary in history. Nearly $15 million of that spending came from the United Democracy Project, a super PAC linked to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a powerful pro-Israel lobby, which backed Latimer.

With 84% of the vote in as of Wednesday morning, Latimer led Bowman by a wide margin, 58.4% to 41.6%.

Speaking to a roomful of his supporters Tuesday night, Bowman conceded defeat to his "opponents," most likely a nod to big-spending outside groups, but he vowed that the broader fight for "humanity and justice" would go on.

"This race was never about me and me alone. It was never about this district and this district alone. It was always about all of us," Bowman said at the Grand Roosevelt Ballroom in Yonkers. "Now, our opponents — not opponent — may have won this round, at this time, in this place. But this will be a battle for our humanity and justice for the rest of our lives."

Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., at a news conference outside the Capitol on Nov. 13.Anna Moneymaker / Getty Images file

Bowman, 48, one of Congress' fiercest critics of Israel, is the first incumbent Democratic lawmaker to lose a primary this election cycle and the first member of the so-called "squad" of progressive lawmakers of color to be ousted from power since the group formed after the 2018 elections. Other squad members, including Reps. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Summer Lee, D-Pa., have been targeted but survived primary challenges.A former Bronx middle school principal, Bowman stormed Washington after he unseated 16-term Rep. Eliot Engel, then the chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee and one of the most powerful Jewish lawmakers in Congress, in 2020.

Bowman won re-election in two years later, but opponents viewed him as more vulnerable this cycle after he committed a series of unforced errors.

Last fall, Bowman pleaded guilty to falsely pulling a fire alarm in a House building in the middle of a vote on a GOP bill to avert a government shutdown. Bowman claimed it was an accident, but Republicans accused him of trying to interrupt official business of the House, and voters repeatedly quizzed him about the fire alarm incident on the campaign trail.

Bowman also said reports of sexual violence during the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attack in Israel were "propaganda"; he walked back those comments after the United Nations said sexual assaults had occurred.

Latimer, 70, has been involved in local and state politics for more than 35 years. He first won election in New York to the Rye City Council in 1987, and he would go on to win seats on the Westchester County Board of Legislators and in the state Assembly and Senate.

As the Democratic nominee, Latimer will almost certainly be the next representative from New York's 16th District, a diverse area north of Manhattan that includes parts of the Bronx and south Westchester County. Joe Biden won the deep-blue district over Donald Trump by nearly 45 percentage points in 2020, according to Daily Kos Elections.

"Tonight, we turn the page and we say that we believe in inclusion of everybody in our representation," Latimer said Tuesday night, flanked by supporters at his election party. "That you are included no matter what your demographic is. Doesn't matter your age, color of your skin, your religion, sexual identity, whether you're a right-hander or a left-hander. Whether you're a Mets fan or a Yankee fan."Several prominent figures waded into the race down the stretch. Progressive heroes, including Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D.N.Y. — another member of the squad — campaigned for Bowman, while Hillary Clinton, Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., and former New York Gov. David Paterson endorsed Latimer.

When former Rep. Mondaire Jones, D-N.Y., a onetime Bowman ally and former fellow member of the Congressional Black Caucus, also endorsed Latimer, citing Bowman's criticism of Israel, progressives revolted. The Congressional Progressive Caucus and the Working Families Party of New York rescinded their endorsement of Jones, who was running in a neighboring New York district with a large Jewish population.

Still, Jones won the Democratic nomination in the 17th District on Tuesday, setting up a matchup with vulnerable Republican Rep. Mike Lawler in the fall as Democrats try to reclaim a seat that flipped from blue to red in 2022.

Ocasio-Cortez easily won the Democratic primary in New York's 14th District.

New York's other primary battles

Tuesday's primaries also set the November matchups in a slew of competitive districts. New York is key to Democrats' path to the House majority, with five Republicans representing districts Biden won in 2020. Democrats need a net gain of just five seats to take control of the House.

There wasn't much primary drama in most of the battlegrounds, except for New York's 1st District. Former CNN anchor John Avlon won the Democratic primary to take on GOP Rep. Nick LaLota, NBC News projects. Avlon defeated Nancy Goroff, a college professor who ran unsuccessfully in 2020.

Democrats also picked state Sen. John Mannion to take on GOP Rep. Brandon Williams in central New York's 22nd District, which became more Democratic after the state's congressional map was redrawn this year.

In the other battlegrounds, the matchups have been all but set for some time. GOP Rep. Anthony D'Esposito will face former Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen in a rematch from 2022. GOP Rep. Marc Molinaro will also face a rematch with attorney Josh Riley.

Two Democrats on defense this year learned who their GOP opponents will be on Tuesday, too.

Rep. Pat Ryan will face Alison Esposito, a former New York City police officer who ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor in 2022. And Rep. Tom Suozzi, who won a special election to take back his old Long Island-based seat, will face former state Assemblyman Mike LiPetri.

Scott Wong

Scott Wong is a senior congressional reporter for NBC News.

Bridget Bowman

Bridget Bowman is a national political reporter for NBC News.

Ben Kamisar contributed.

Article is LOCKED by author/seeder
Junior Expert
1  seeder  George    3 weeks ago

Are New Yorkers racist for voting for a white man over a minority?

Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2  Vic Eldred    3 weeks ago

Greg Jones
Professor Participates
3  Greg Jones    3 weeks ago

Bowman just another far left Jew hating wacko. Good riddance.

Robert in Ohio
Professor Guide
4  Robert in Ohio    3 weeks ago

A good outcome for democracy in the U.S.

Jeremy Retired in NC
Professor Principal
5  Jeremy Retired in NC    3 weeks ago

After that unhinged gathering he participated in with Donkey from Shrek it's no wonder he lost.

Drinker of the Wry
Senior Expert
6  Drinker of the Wry    3 weeks ago

Perhaps Bowman lost because he was confused by the boundaries of his district.  This weekend he held a rally in the South Bronx:

“We are going to show fucking AIPAC the power of the motherfucking South Bronx! … We’re going to show them who the fuck we are!”

Bowman does not represent the South Bronx.


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