Bowman's challenger gets first endorsement from House Democrat

gottheimerjosh 042224 AP

Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) on Monday became the first sitting House Democrat to endorse Westchester County Executive George Latimer (D) in his bid to unseat Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) in the closely watched primary contest in the New York City suburb.

The endorsement from Gottheimer, a moderate who chairs the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, comes one day before Tuesday’s primary, which has largely focused on Bowman’s criticism of Israel’s war in Gaza.

“I’m proud to endorse @LatimerforNY. We need more commonsense leaders and problem solvers in Congress. I know George will fight hate in all forms, and stand up for the values we all believe in,” Gottheimer wrote on the social platform X on Monday.

The congressman joins a number of political heavyweights in throwing his support behind Latimer.

Two weeks ago, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who represented New York in the Senate, endorsed Latimer over Bowman.

Former Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.), once seen as a progressive ally of Bowman’s, endorsed his primary challenger earlier this month. Bowman and Jones were elected in 2020 to represent New York’s 16th and 17th Congressional Districts, succeeding longtime Reps. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) and Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), respectively. Engel and Lowey have also endorsed Latimer over Bowman.

Bowman has maintained the bulk of his support from his caucus, including from House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.). Many of his fellow progressive members, including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Cori Bush (D-Mo.), have rallied for Bowman in the lead-up to the primary contest.

A poll conducted earlier this month from Emerson College Polling/PIX11/The Hill shows Bowman could still be underwater in his district. The poll had Latimer leading Bowman by 17 points, 48 percent to 31 percent, with 21 percent still undecided.

The poll found that 51 percent of respondents have a favorable view of Bowman, compared to 43 percent who have an unfavorable view of him. In comparison, 65 percent said they have a favorable view of Latimer, while 23 percent had an unfavorable view.

The seat is reliably blue, so the winner of the Democratic primary on Tuesday is the heavy favorite to win in November.

The Hill has reached out to Bowman’s and Latimer’s campaigns for comment.

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