Liberal group backs challenger to Engel in Democratic primary

Liberal group backs challenger to Engel in Democratic primary
© Greg Nash

The liberal group Democracy for America (DFA) on Wednesday endorsed middle school principal Jamaal Bowman’s primary challenge against Rep. Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump mobilizes military against 'angry mob,' holds controversial photo op Engel primary challenger drops out, endorses fellow challenger House, Senate panels to question ousted State Dept. inspector general on Wednesday: report MORE (D-N.Y.) in the race to represent New York’s 16th Congressional District.

Bowman, the founding principal for the public middle school Cornerstone Academy for Social Action, has also been endorsed by Justice Democrats, the progressive group aligned with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezNew York City issues Monday night curfew amid protests Engel primary challenger drops out, endorses fellow challenger Trump says he will designate antifa a terrorist organization MORE (D-N.Y.).

Bowman is running on a progressive platform that includes "Medicare for All" and the Green New Deal.


“For low-income and working-class people in New York and across the country, politics as usual just isn’t working and things won’t change if we keep on electing the same politicians, controlled by the same corporate interests, over and over again,” said Yvette Simpson, the CEO of DFA.

“Jamaal Bowman is right on the issues - he’s ready to fight for Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, just immigration reform, and affordable housing. But just as importantly, Bowman is committed to confronting and correcting past wrongs, like the 1994 Crime Bill and the No Child Left Behind Act, that his corporate-funded opponent voted for over his more than 30 years in Congress.”

Engel, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is seeking his 17th term in office.

The New York Democrat warded off three primary challengers in 2018 and ran unopposed in the general election in the solidly blue 16th Congressional District.

Engel has raised $1.6 million this cycle, compared to $540,000 for Bowman.

Andom Ghebreghiorgis, a special education teacher, is also running in the Democratic primary.

In addition to Bowman, DFA has backed three other challengers to sitting lawmakers, including Marie Newman’s successful primary against Rep. Daniel LipinskiDaniel William LipinskiLiberal group backs challenger to Engel in Democratic primary The Hill's Campaign Report: Campaigns scale back amid coronavirus threat Dan Lipinski defeated in Illinois House primary MORE (D-Ill.), Jessica Cisneros, who fell short to Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), and McKayla Wilkes, who is challenging House Majority Whip Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerKey races to watch in Tuesday's primaries Overnight Defense: Democrats expand probe into State IG's firing | House schedules late June votes with defense bill on deck | New Navy secretary sworn in House scheduled to return for votes in late June MORE (D-Md.).