Ocasio-Cortez endorses Engel primary challenger

Ocasio-Cortez endorses Engel primary challenger
© Greg Nash

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezProgressive group launches M pro-Biden ad buy targeting young voters Trump attacks Biden clean energy plan while announcing environmental rollback Trump shares photo with Goya Foods products after Ivanka faces criticism MORE (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday endorsed the Democrat mounting a primary challenge to House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelOvernight Defense: Esper announces new steps on diversity in military but memo silent on Confederate flag | Defense bill amendment would sanction Russians over bounties | US accuses Russia of planting landmines in Libya How a progressive populist appears to have toppled Engel Massachusetts Democrat calls for Voice of America chief to resign MORE (D-N.Y.). 

Ocasio-Cortez announced her endorsement of progressive Jamaal Bowman in the primary race for New York’s 16th District, adding that she will roll out a slate of New York endorsements on Thursday. 

“This moment requires renewed and revitalized leadership across the country AND at the ballot box,” she tweeted. 

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“Tonight, I am endorsing @JamaalBowmanNY for Congress,” she added. 

New York is holding a primary on June 23.

Engel is running for reelection for a 17th term in Congress. Fellow progressive candidate Andom Ghebreghiorgis dropped out Monday and endorsed Bowman in the race against Engel. 

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In 2018, Ocasio-Cortez defeated another longtime New York incumbent, Rep. Joe CrowleyJoseph (Joe) CrowleyHow a progressive populist appears to have toppled Engel Bowman declares victory over Engel in New York primary as votes still counted Progressives riding high as votes tabulated in NY, Kentucky MORE, in a primary race. 

Ocasio-Cortez’s high-profile endorsement comes one day after Engel was heard saying, “If I didn’t have a primary, I wouldn’t care” after he was told not all elected officials gathered at an event to address Monday night protests would get a chance to speak. 

Engel told The Hill in a statement that he asked to speak because he wanted to let his constituents know where he stood on the issues being discussed. 

“In the context of running for re-election, I thought it was important for people to know where I stand, that's why I asked to speak,” Engel said. “Of course I care deeply about what's happening in this country, that's what I wanted to convey. I love the Bronx, grew up in the Bronx and lived here all my life. I would not have tried to impose on the Borough President if I didn't think it was important.”

Bowman, however, said the exchange was “painful to watch.” 

“We need to be taking care of our communities right now -- whether it's election season or not,” Bowman said in a tweet.