DISTRICT 16 (northern parts of the Bronx and southern half of Westchester County, including Mt. Vernon, Yonkers, New Rochelle and Rye): The current representative — Eliot Engel — has been in Congress since 1989, and his connections to the district seem to have frayed.
He was criticized for not returning home even as the coronavirus raged through communities he represents, particularly New Rochelle. When he did return for this race, he was caught on a hot mic pushing for a chance to speak during a protest rally, saying, “If I didn’t have a primary, I wouldn’t care.”
His main challenger is Jamaal Bowman, an educator for more than 20 years and a fierce advocate for public schools. Mr. Bowman helped found a public middle school in the Bronx, the Cornerstone Academy for Social Action, and promises to work for all of the district, including sections he says have been neglected during Mr. Engel’s time in Congress.
Mr. Bowman says he wants to see the United States adopt a kind of Marshall Plan for climate change, jobs, housing and education. “We need political imagination,” he said. In a district that needs new energy, Mr. Bowman will bring it.
I’m beginning to think that Bowman is less of a long shot than I thought when I wrote about this 11 days ago.
It’s important to remember that primary challenges are important even when they fail, and a relatively low success rate is a given.
Dan Lipinski has already been taken out this election cycle, and if Engel is taken down, it will put fear in the hearts of a lot of Democratic Party incumbents.
H/T Diane Ravitch.