AOC Clashes with Hillary and Bernie Over NY-16 Race as Latimer Leads Bowman in Primary Polls

In just over a week, New York will hold its primaries for the U.S. House of Representatives, and the NY-16 race is particularly noteworthy. Democratic Rep. Jamaal Bowman, a member of the Squad, faces a tough challenge from Westchester County Executive George Latimer. Latimer is leading in polls and has garnered high-profile endorsements. The issue of support for Israel has become a prominent topic in this race, especially following a recent Hamas attack on Israel. This race has attracted substantial outside funding, drawing criticism from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) and other Squad members.

AOC has vocally opposed Latimer’s challenge to Bowman, with her outrage escalating in recent weeks. Endorsements for Latimer from former Rep. Mondaire Jones and Hillary Clinton have further fueled AOC’s discontent. Additionally, Sen. Bernie Sanders and AOC plan to hold a campaign event for Bowman, signaling their strong support for him.

AOC has criticized the outside spending in the race, particularly targeting a cryptocurrency group named FairShake, which has spent millions on both candidates. She denounced the influx of money as "disgusting and abnormal," claiming it poses a core threat to American democracy. However, AOC's stance overlooks the fact that she herself benefited from outside support in her previous campaign.

Bowman’s 2020 primary against Rep. Eliot Engel also saw significant outside spending. AIPAC, a pro-Israel lobbying group, has contributed to the current race by running ads critical of Bowman. This primary between Bowman and Latimer, considered one of the most competitive this cycle, is viewed as a test of national progressive policies versus local leadership and support.

While AOC and others have raised concerns about outside influence, it's notable that 90% of Bowman’s campaign contributions come from outside his congressional district, compared to more than half of Latimer’s donations coming from within the district. This indicates the strong local support Latimer enjoys.

AOC’s objections to outside spending and influence have sparked criticism from some district residents, who express dissatisfaction with Bowman and welcome the challenge to his re-election. The upcoming primary will give Democratic voters in New York’s 16th Congressional District the chance to decide the future of their representation in Congress.

Written by Staff Reports

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