Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

Rep. Jamaal Bowman, a vocal Israel critic and ‘Squad’ member, looks to survive costly primary

By 37ci3 Jun25,2024

Progressive Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., is desperately fighting to hang on to his seat Tuesday after facing multimillion-dollar attacks from pro-Israel groups in a race that has attracted more advertising spending than any House primary in history.

If he is defeated, Bowman, one of the most outspoken critics of Israel in Congress, will become the first member of the so-called “Cafe,” a group of progressive lawmakers of color ousted in the Democratic primary. Other Squad members have been targeted in the past, including Summer Lee of D-Pa., who won first place earlier this year.

The United Democracy Project, a super PAC affiliated with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a powerful pro-Israel lobby, spent about $15 million on ads in the race to unseat Bowman and support his centrist challenger, according to ad tracking firm AdImapct. Westchester County Executive George Latimer, staunch supporter of Israel.

In total, candidates and outside groups spent a record $25 million on primary ads, according to AdImpact. That’s a staggering amount for the deep-blue congressional district north of Manhattan, which President Joe Biden won by nearly 45 percentage points in 2020.

The bitter Bowman-Latimer main battle It highlights the widening rift between progressives and establishment figures in the Democratic Party over Israel’s handling of the war in Gaza.

Bowman, a former Bronx high school principal, joined the chorus of progressive voices calling for a permanent cease-fire after the Oct. 7 terror attack by Hamas against Israel. He also touched on Israeli airstrikes that have killed Palestinian civilians and demanded the ouster of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Several well-known national figures participated in the competition. Progressive stalwarts like Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York campaigned for Bowman, while Hillary Clinton endorsed Latimer.

Tuesday’s primaries will also set races in a number of competitive New York districts that are prime targets for Democrats to take control of the House this fall.

All the primary action in Colorado is on the Republican side. Rep. Lauren Boebert is running in a crowded primary after redistricting to run in more GOP-friendly areas.

Democrats have also attempted to meddle in the GOP primary to replace Boebert in the more competitive 3rd District, which appears likely to be easier for embattled state Rep. Ron Hanks to win in November.

Colorado Republicans will also choose candidates in the deep red 5th District and the competitive 8th District to replace retiring Rep. Doug Lamborn.

In Utah, Donald Trump has chosen his preferred candidate to replace retired GOP Sen. Mitt Romney, a staunch critic of the former president, who has backed Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs. But Staggs faces a competitive race for the GOP nod, where Rep. There’s John Curtis.

South Carolina will also hold primary runoffs in the June 11 contest for races where no candidate won a majority of the vote. Trump’s endorsement will come in the open 3rd District, where he is backing Pastor Mark Burns over nurse Sheri Biggs.

Polls close at 7:00 PM ET in South Carolina, 9:00 PM ET in New York and Colorado, and 10:00 PM ET in Utah.

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By 37ci3

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