Engel primary challenger drops out, endorses fellow challenger

One of two progressive primary challengers to House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) has dropped out of the race and endorsed Engel’s other challenger, setting up a race between Engel and education activist Jamaal Bowman.

Andom Ghebreghiorgis announced his withdrawal and endorsement of Bowman on Monday in the Democratic primary for New York’s 16th District, according to NY1.

Engel has represented the district, which includes sections of the Bronx and Westchester County, since 2013, but has represented New York in Congress since 1989.

“From the very beginning, we were fighting for the same things,” Bowman told NY1. “He also believes in a Green New Deal, ‘Medicare for All,’ getting big money out of politics and really centering the working class and empowering the people in this district who have been neglected.”

“There’s a lot of alignment we have in terms of our policies, our ideologies and also our lived experiences,” Ghebreghiorgis told NY1 of himself and Bowman. “We see right now protests throughout the country around the idea of institutionalized racism as black men.”

“Today, we’ve decided that the best way to ensure these needs are met is no longer through our own campaign,” he added in a tweet Monday. “That’s why I’m suspending my campaign and endorsing @JamaalBowmanNY.”

The primary is set for June 23. While Bowman only has about 20 percent as much cash on hand as Engel does, his slew of endorsements from progressive groups, including the Justice Democrats, have prompted comparisons to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-N.Y.) surprise primary victory in 2018 over Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.), the 10-term chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.

Tags 2020 Democratic primaries Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Andom Ghebreghiorgis congressional primary Eliot Engel Jamaal Bowman Joe Crowley New York
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