He May Be the First 'Squad' Member Voted Out

House Democrat Jamaal Bowman of New York has alienated his Jewish constituency
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 25, 2024 11:19 AM CDT
He May Be the First 'Squad' Member Voted Out
Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., talks at a campaign stop in White Plains, N.Y., on June 11, 2024. Bowman faces Westchester County Executive George Latimer in Tuesday's primary election.   (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey, File)

Out West, Lauren Boebert's GOP primary contest on Tuesday is the main focus. On the East Coast, the big race is out of New York and among Democrats. Progressive Rep. Jamaal Bowman is at real risk at being the first member of the informal group known as "the Squad" to be voted out of office, reports the Wall Street Journal.

  • Trailing: Bowman, considered one of the most liberal members of Congress, is being challenged by a more moderate figure, Westchester County Executive George Latimer, per the AP. A poll this month out of Emerson College had the popular Latimer up 48% to 31%.
  • Israel: The paramount issue in the race has been Israel, notes the Journal. Bowman's mostly suburban district north of New York City has a large Jewish population, and he has been one of the most vocal supporters of Palestinians—and one of the most vocal critics of Israel—amid the Israel-Hamas war. The New York Times has a primer on the "bitter" primary that digs into all of this.

  • Historic spending: The powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee lobbying group is backing Latimer and has poured about $15 million into the race, a big reason it has become the most expensive House primary in history, reports the Washington Post. That's based on ad spending as tracked by the group AdImpact.
  • Democratic rift: The race has implications for the Democratic Party because it's exposing progressive-centrist divisions, per an analysis at NBC News. Consider that Hillary Clinton backs Latimer and Bernie Sanders backs Bowman. Sanders, for his part, has called the race "one of the most important in the modern history of America," arguing that a Bowman loss will show that big-money interests (in this case AIPAC) have too much sway.
  • About him: Bowman is allied with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other progressives. He came to office in a 2020 upset and made headlines last year when he pulled a fire alarm in the chaos before a government shutdown vote. In a New York Times opinion piece, Michelle Goldberg admires his political principles but also accuses him of "political malpractice" in how he has wielded them. Bowman himself seems unfazed. "If we lose, we lose," he tells her. "It's not about that. It's bigger than that."
(More Jamaal Bowman stories.)

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