Progressive Bowman ousts Engel in New York primary

Progressive Democrat Jamaal Bowman defeated longtime Rep. Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelOvernight Defense: Trump reportedly considering replacing Esper after election | FBI, Air Force investigating after helicopter shot at in Virginia | Watchdog says UK envoy made inappropriate comments on religion, race, sex Watchdog: Trump's UK envoy made inappropriate remarks on religion, race, sex Allegations roil progressive insurgent's House bid MORE in New York's Democratic primary, pulling off a major anti-establishment win.

The win was widely anticipated after Bowman had built a double-digit lead on June 23, when the primary took place, though the counting of mailed-in ballots delayed the final results for more than three weeks.

Bowman's victory confirmation on Friday provides progressives a major boost after a mixed year of results, showcasing the strides made by the left in reshaping the Democratic Party. The district, New York’s 16th, is heavily Democratic and Bowman is almost certain to coast to victory in November.


It also marks another instance in which a senior lawmaker in the state is ousted in a primary after Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezDemocrats hammer Trump for entertaining false birther theory about Harris Overnight Energy: EPA finalizes rollback of Obama-era oil and gas methane emissions standards | Democratic lawmakers ask Interior to require masks indoors at national parks | Harris climate agenda stresses need for justice Markey riffs on JFK quote in new ad touting progressive bona fides MORE (D-N.Y.) stunned the political establishment by defeating former Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) in 2018. 

Meanwhile, Rep. Carolyn MaloneyCarolyn Bosher MaloneyTrump says he'd sign bill funding USPS but won't seek changes to help mail voting 175 members of Congress call on postmaster general to reverse changes, restructuring ahead of election The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden, Harris make first public appearance as running mates MORE (D-N.Y.), the chairwoman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, was in a tight race in a primary pitting her against Suraj Patel.

Bowman had gained big momentum in polling and fundraising toward the end of the campaign amid criticism of Engel's absence from the district and the protests against racial injustice roiling the country.

A poll conducted by the progressive firm Data for Progress showed Bowman up 10 points over Engel. Bowman's campaign also announced the candidate raised $2 million ahead of the primary from more than 65,000 individual donors.

Additionally, he received the support of major progressive figures, including Ocasio-Cortez, as well as Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersChris Wallace: Trump struggling with attacks on 'shape-shifter' Harris Kamala Harris: The outreach Latinos need Biden and Harris seen as more moderate than Trump and Pence: poll MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenChris Wallace: Trump struggling with attacks on 'shape-shifter' Harris Markey riffs on JFK quote in new ad touting progressive bona fides Howard Kurtz: Kamala Harris 'getting walk on water coverage' by media after VP pick MORE (D-Mass.).


Engel faced criticism from Bowman and other Democrats who said he was not often present in the district during much of the coronavirus pandemic. Additionally, Engel, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has faced backlash for his foreign policy platforms. Engel voted for the Iraq War and opposed the Iran nuclear deal during the Obama administration.

The longtime congressman also took heat after he was captured on camera at an event against racial injustice pressing to speak while saying he wouldn't have cared had he not faced a primary challenge.

First elected to Congress in 1988, Engel has been a fixture in New York politics since the 1970s. In the final weeks before the primary, as Bowman gained momentum in the race, prominent Democratic leaders, including Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSusan Collins asks postmaster general to address delays of 'critically needed mail' Trump says he'd sign bill funding USPS but won't seek changes to help mail voting On The Money: Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief agreement | Weekly jobless claims fall below 1 million for first time since March | Trump says no Post Office funding means Democrats 'can't have universal mail-in voting' MORE (D-Calif.) and former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonUSPS warns Pennsylvania mail-in ballots may not be delivered in time to be counted Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief deal Gloria Steinem: Selection of Kamala Harris recognizes that 'black women ... are the heart and soul of the Democratic Party' MORE, rushed to Engel’s aid.  

But Bowman’s anti-establishment message and connection with the Black Lives Matter movement ultimately proved to be a winning strategy

Alexandra Rojas, the executive director of the progressive group Justice Democrats, which endorsed Bowman, touted him as one of the first candidates “swept into Congress by the movement in the streets right now.”


“This win proves that a Black man who survived poverty and police violence at 11 years old has the power to transform his community and country,” Rojas said. 

Engel is the fifth incumbent congressman to fall in a primary this year, following in the footsteps of fellow Democratic Rep. Dan Lipinski (Ill.) and three GOP members, Reps. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingWin by QAnon believer creates new headaches for House GOP JD Scholten says he doesn't need DCCC to win Iowa seat The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden builds big lead in battleground Florida MORE (Iowa), Denver RigglemanDenver RigglemanDoctors boost Democrats' hopes to keep House Progressive Bowman ousts Engel in New York primary GOP lawmakers raise questions about WHO's coronavirus timeline MORE (Va.) and Scott TiptonScott R. TiptonProgressive Bowman ousts Engel in New York primary Hillicon Valley: QAnon scores wins, creating GOP problem | Supreme Court upholds regulation banning robocalls to cellphones | Foreign hackers take aim at homebound Americans | Uber acquires Postmates On The Trail: Trump, coronavirus fuel unprecedented voter enthusiasm MORE (Colo.). 

-- Updated at 12:12 p.m.