Jamaal Bowman ousts longtime incumbent Eliot Engel in NY

Remigio Civitarese
Luglio 19, 2020

Progressive candidates made inroads in the New York Democratic primary, riding the same wave of support that brought Ocasio-Cortez to office, who coasted to her primary win over several challengers. The primary was held on June 23, but the results were not finalized until Friday, more than three weeks later, due to delays counting mail-in ballots.

Hillary Clinton endorsed the congressman a week before the primary, followed in short order by Gov. Andrew Cuomo of NY, a third-term Democrat, who said that Engel deserved a vote because "seniority matters". Ocasio-Cortez herself joined Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren in supportng Bowman.

The race turned lively in the last stretch, as Engel, who hasn't dealt with a severe opposition in years, was enhanced by a late rise of outdoors costs.

Bowman, 44, was declared the victor in the contest, all but assuring him election in November from the solidly Democratic district representing parts of the Bronx and Westchester County. It was about engaging with the people who, quite frankly, felt ignored by him for 31 years. Engel's district includes the city of New Rochelle, one of the first COVID-19 epicenters in the country. In the end Bowman defeated Engel with 55% of the vote, a margin of roughly 12,000 votes, when the race was called. Here in New York's 16th District, where I have lived since I was a young boy in Eastchester Gardens, we desperately need Washington's resources at this critical time, and we must continue to fight for them.

Engel has been a stalwart supporter of Israel during his time in Congress, while Bowman expressed a more qualified support of the Jewish state.

In mid-May, The Atlantic reported that Engel had stayed in Maryland for almost two months during the peak of the pandemic in New York City.

In early June, Engel attended a press conference on the racial protests in the city. I take particular pride in always showing up, always being present, always listening, and always caring deeply about those whom it's been an honor to serve as their Congressman.

Engel's ouster, meanwhile, has significant implications for Capitol Hill.

"I'm ready to get to work. And I've been very, very effective".

"I wish Mr. Bowman well as he begins this new chapter in his life". "But I still couldn't get too excited because that was only the Bronx reporting at that moment".

The AP called the election for Bowman on Friday after receiving absentee vote totals from Westchester County, a section of which comprises the richer, whiter portion of the state's 16th District.

The victory came with the help of an array of stars from the Democratic Party's left wing, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Sen. The Justice Democrats and the Working Families Party outdoors group wound up costs about $1.3 million on his behalf.

"It's extremely rare for an incumbent Democrat in Congress to be unseated by a more progressive candidate and for all the coverage the tea party received, and their influence in the Republican party, they were only able to unseat three House Republicans, maximum, in any given cycle", Justice Democrats interactions director Waleed Shahid informed CNN prior to main day.

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