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Warren endorses Engel challenger in New York primary

Warren endorses Engel challenger in New York primary
© Greg Nash/Courtesy of the Jamaal Bowman Campaign

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenBiden plan would nearly double capital gains tax for wealthy: report Top general concerned about Afghan forces after US troops leave Progressives divided over efforts to repeal SALT cap MORE (D-Mass.) on Tuesday formally threw her support behind Jamaal Bowman, who is challenging Rep. Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelLiberal advocacy group stirs debate, discomfort with primary challenges NY Democratic chair blasts primary challenge against Maloney Carolyn Maloney will face Justice Democrats-backed primary challenger MORE's (N.Y.) reelection bid in New York's 16th District, becoming the latest progressive to back the middle school principal. 

"He is exactly the kind of person we need in Congress fighting for big, structural change. Whether it's fighting for high-quality public schools, affordable housing, or rooting out systemic racism, Jamaal Bowman will be a champion for working people in Washington," Warren said in a statement on her website.

The progressive senator's endorsement is the latest in the Democratic primary, which has divided the party before voters cast ballots on June 23.

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Bowman has also received the support of progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezEvery day should be Earth Day Liberal advocacy group stirs debate, discomfort with primary challenges Progressives divided over efforts to repeal SALT cap MORE (D-N.Y.), and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersPelosi pushes for drug pricing measure amid uncertainty from White House White House sees GOP proposal as legitimate starting point The Memo: Washington's fake debate on 'bipartisanship' MORE (I-Vt.) endorsed Bowman last week. 

"Jamaal understands that low-income families are locked out of opportunity and a decent life due to a system that is rigged to benefit the wealthy," Sanders said in a statement. "In Congress he will lead the fight for investing in our public schools, ending mass incarceration, and addressing the housing crisis. He is someone we can trust to be a powerful advocate for a progressive agenda in Congress."

Engel, on the other hand, has received support from establishment figures, like 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFrench-American Foundation selects new president with fundraising background Pelosi on power in DC: 'You have to seize it' Cuba readies for life without Castro MORE, who endorsed the House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman on Monday. 

“I have worked with Eliot Engel as first lady, as senator from New York, and as secretary of state,” Clinton said in a statement to The New York Times. “Every step of the way, his number-one priority has always remained the same: delivering for his constituents.”

Bowman is proving to be one of the toughest primary challengers Engel has faced in his 16-term career in Congress.

In 2018, Engel defeated his primary challenger by 57 points before coasting to victory in an uncontested general election.

However, Bowman has consolidated support from the progressive field and raised more than $200,000 in a two-day period earlier this month. 
 
Engel has come under intense scrutiny from progressives over his absence from his district amid the coronavirus pandemic as well as his foreign policy positions. He was also heard saying on a live microphone earlier this month that he was only attending an event because he had a primary challenger.