Engel draws primary challenger in NY

Long-time New York Democratic Rep. Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelDeLauro wins Steering Committee vote for Appropriations chair Top donor allegedly sold access to key politicians for millions in foreign cash: report Meet the three Democrats who could lead foreign affairs in the House MORE has drawn a primary challenger in his 2020 reelection bid who is supported by a key group that backed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezHarry Styles hits back at criticism over wearing dress on Vogue cover 'It's not a slogan': Progressives push back on Obama's comments on 'defund the police' movement Obama says Democrats should make sure Ocasio-Cortez has a platform MORE (D-N.Y.) in her upset win.

Middle school principal and former teacher Jamaal Bowman launched his progressive campaign on Tuesday to represent New York’s 16th Congressional District, pitting himself against Engel, who has served 16 terms.


“I want to talk about a vision for a new America,” Bowman said in a campaign launch video. “It’s a country rooted in our humanity. A vision where everyone is included.”

Bowman’s platform shows support for "Medicare for All," the Green New Deal, increased investment in public schools, free college and reforms to the criminal justice system, according to his video.

“My opponent has been in office for over 30 years,” Bowman said in a news release. “Over those 30 years, my opponent voted for an unjust war in Iraq, deregulating Wall Streetschool privatization, and building more prisons. While the very few at the top continue to build their wealth and power, the majority of us continue to struggle.”

“It’s time for a Democrat who will fight for schools and education, not bombs and incarceration,” his website says.

The liberal advocacy group Justice Democrats announced its support of Bowman on Tuesday. 

He is the second primary challenger to gain an endorsement from Justice Democrats ahead of the 2020 elections. In addition to endorsing seven incumbent House members in their reelection bids, the group announced on June 13 their support of Jessica Cisneros, an immigration and human rights attorney challenging Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas).

The organization also made waves in 2018 for backing Ocasio-Cortez in her primary bid against 10-term incumbent Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.).

“As someone who has built a public school from the ground up and served his community and students for many years, we are so honored to endorse Jamaal Bowman for Congress,” Justice Democrats Executive Director Alexandra Rojas said in the release. “Our grassroots movement shocked the country last year with AOC’s upset victory and we are prepared to do it again in New York’s 16th District. It’s time to usher in a new generation of progressive leadership into the Democratic Party.”