Rep. Jamaal Bowman Loses Primary Race

Photo by Matthew Bornhorst on Unsplash

( – On Tuesday, June 25, Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) became the first House member on either side of the aisle to be defeated by a primary challenger during this election cycle. He’s also the first member of the “Squad” to be voted out.

The progressive New York Democrat lost his Democratic primary bid to George Latimer in New York’s 16th Congressional District, which includes a small portion of The Bronx and southern Westchester County, the suburban part of New York City.

The race between Bowman and Latimer made history as the nation’s most expensive congressional primary, with a record-breaking $25 million being spent on ads in New York’s expensive media market.

In his victory speech, Latimer — a former state Senator — acknowledged that the “race was hard-fought, and hard-won.”

The race between Bowman and Latimer also highlighted the deep division in the Democratic party over the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza and the tug-of-war between progressives and moderates for the soul of the party.

Bowman is among many who have staunchly supported the Palestinian people, accusing Israel of committing genocide in Gaza. As a result, Latimer’s campaign benefitted from the $14 million in spending by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

Bowman received the endorsement of Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (New York) and Senator Bernie Sanders (Vermont), who attended a rally on Saturday for Bowman in The Bronx. However, that apparently didn’t provide enough of a boost to win him the primary.

Latimer had received the endorsement of council members, local mayors, Westchester County legislators, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who lives nearby in north Westchester County.

Latimer suggested Bowman had lost touch with constituents.

Bowman is reported to have repeatedly engaged in verbal combat with Republicans. He was also embroiled in scandal for pulling the fire alarm last year during a vote over government funding and voted against raising the debt ceiling and President Joe Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure bill.

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