Rep Eliot Engel Officially Loses Primary To Jamaal Bowman

New York Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel officially lost his primary in the state’s 16th congressional district Friday to Jamaal Bowman, a middle school principal from the Bronx, 55% to 40%.

The final result was reported nearly a month after New York’s primary elections June 23. Bowman, a progressive who was endorsed by the likes of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, beat the 16-term incumbent and Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee by nearly 12,000 votes.

Engel was widely viewed as vulnerable to losing his seat, The New York Times reported.

The congressman had drawn criticism for spending little time in his district, which includes parts of Westchester County and the Bronx, and was widely condemned over his hot mic comment in June where he said that he only wanted speaking time at a local news conference because he had a primary challenger.

“If I didn’t have a primary challenger, I wouldn’t care,” he said to the Bronx councilman running the conference.

Bowman’s campaign raised over $360,000 in the following week, according to the local Yonkers Tribune.

Despite last-second endorsements from Hillary Clinton and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who endorsed him because “seniority matters,” Engel came up far short.

Bowman ran on a progressive platform, supporting policies like Medicare for All and the Green New Deal. He also supports sweeping criminal justice reforms, according to his campaign’s website.

The 16th district is solidly Democratic, according to the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, all but guaranteeing that Bowman will be elected to Congress in November.

Engel is the fifth incumbent congressman to lose in a primary this year, following Democratic Rep. Dan Lipinski of Illinois and Republican Reps. Steve King of Iowa, Denver Riggleman of Virginia and Scott Tipton of Colorado.

Written by Andrew Trunsky

Andrew Trunsky is a contributor to The Schpiel.


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