Ocasio-Cortez endorses Engel primary challenger

Greg Nash

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday endorsed the Democrat mounting a primary challenge to House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (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. 

“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. 

In 2018, Ocasio-Cortez defeated another longtime New York incumbent, Rep. Joe Crowley, 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.

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Eliot Engel Jamaal Bowman Joe Crowley

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