Engel primary challenger hits $1 million in donations

Engel primary challenger hits $1 million in donations
© Facebook: Jamaal Bowman

New York Democrat Jamaal Bowman, who is mounting a primary challenge to Rep. Elliot Engel (D-N.Y.) to represent the states 16th District, announced Friday his campaign has raised more than $1 million since its launch, a hefty haul for a primary challenger.

Bowman was buoyed after his campaign raised $264,644 in just three days after progressive firebrand Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezMan raises over 0K to purchase and donate Goya products after calls for boycott Huckabee rips Ocasio-Cortez over 'astonishing' remarks about uptick in NYC crime Black voters: We need all of them MORE (D-N.Y.) endorsed him.

The fundraising news comes after Engel was caught on a hot mic saying, "If I didn’t have a primary, I wouldn’t care,” after being told that not all lawmakers at an event to address the Monday night protests in New York might get a chance to speak. 

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Bowman was also boosted when Andom Ghebreghiorgis, another progressive in the primary race, suspended his campaign and endorsed Bowman, a former middle school principal.

“Jamaal Bowman is a better candidate, with a better message, and is more in touch with the district. Eliot EngelEliot Lance Engel70 progressive groups call for next Foreign Affairs chair to reflect 'progressive realism' Overnight Defense: US formally rejects Beijing's South China Sea claims | House set to consider defense policy bill next week | 57 injured as firefighters battle warship blaze Many Democrats want John Bolton's testimony, but Pelosi stays mum MORE’s biggest advantage is money, and the fact that we’re now competitive with a 31-year incumbent when it comes to fundraising shows just how much trouble he is in,” said Bowman's campaign manager Luke Hayes.

Hayes added that the campaign will use its beefed up war chest to expand its voter outreach and paid communications efforts. 

Still, unseating Engel, a 16-term incumbent, will be no easy feat. Engel has a high-profile perch as chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and played a key role in the House’s impeachment investigation. He’s also cited his seniority and work to secure health care and education funding for his district.

“I have been one of the real pains in the neck to Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpWayfair refutes QAnon-like conspiracy theory that it's trafficking children Stone rails against US justice system in first TV interview since Trump commuted his sentence Federal appeals court rules Trump admin can't withhold federal grants from California sanctuary cities MORE in Washington,” he said at a virtual debate this week. “I’ve now had lots of seniority, being in Congress a long time, and I have the clout. I bring home the bacon. I bring home the money. I can do those kinds of things. That’s not something a freshman can do.” 

Engel also has the backing of House heavyweights such as Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy Pelosi70 progressive groups call for next Foreign Affairs chair to reflect 'progressive realism' House to vote next week on ridding Capitol of Confederate statues Eye on gavel, Wasserman Schultz proposes panel on racial inequality in spending MORE (D-Calif.), Rep. Gregory MeeksGregory Weldon Meeks70 progressive groups call for next Foreign Affairs chair to reflect 'progressive realism' Overnight Defense: US formally rejects Beijing's South China Sea claims | House set to consider defense policy bill next week | 57 injured as firefighters battle warship blaze The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - As virus concerns grow, can it get worse for Trump? MORE, head of the Queens Democratic Party, and the Congressional Black Caucus.

Bowman and Engel will face off in the House primary on June 23.