The hands on the bridge of the strategy is a striking demonstration of unity after the presidential campaign ended with deep rifts on the left and this has a catalytic effect on Bowman’s nomination in the race to the June 23 primary. But their efforts have also exposed part of cracks, to stimulate Democratic the establishment powers such as Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, and Jim Clyburn to throw their support behind Engel.
“What is that to the left of the sentence? We just need a win,” said Andom Ghebreghiorgis, another progressive candidate who challenged Engel this year, but recently abandoned, and approved Bowman. “People will invest emotionally in this race, because they see it as a ballot of the race where the policies of Bernie, for example, who were not able to win on a national level, it can at least be done on a congressional level.”
The clash between the heavyweights like Clinton, and Sanders has made New York the 16th Arrondissement of the race of the most-watched primary of the cycle — and one of the most revealing.
If Bowman, a 44-year-old middle school principal, beats Engel, 73-year-old chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, it will be the second time in two years that a senior House Democrat from New York was taken in a primary school. In 2018, Ocasio-Cortez knocked out Republic Joe Crowley in an enormous anger. Should Engel hold on to his seat, it will mark yet another bitter intra-party defeat for the progressives.
“If all of this super lefty power of fire turns out not to be enough, and Bowman comes up short, which will be added to the list,” said Jon Reinish, a Democratic strategist based in New York. “There are a lot of examples over the last two years, since Ocasio-Cortez, like Our Revolution, the slate of endorsed candidates in 2018, or, more recently, Henry Cuellar challenge in Texas, where time and again, these challengers, regardless of the energy of these groups, have been discovered.”
The protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death, as well as the coronavirus, which has disproportionately impacted black and Latino Americans have increased the urgency among the progressives to oust Engel. Bowman has been criticized Engel for voting for the 1994 crime bill, which has contributed to an increase of the incarceration. Bowman champions of the idea of a cessation of the funding of the police, whereas Engel has said that he is totally opposed to the decline in their budgets, but it supports the reallocation of some resources.
“If you’re someone who wants to translate the energy in the street in elected office, part and parcel, is a candidate among many that you can support them,” said Walid Shahid, the communications director of the Justice Democrats. “Part and parcel, could be the first candidate elected by the Congress of this movement.”
Bowman also spoke of his first experience with the brutality of the police at the age of 11 years on the campaign and a regular presence at the Black Lives Matter protests.
“It was a murder, by the application of the law which is supposed to serve and protect us. It robs you of your heart and shakes your soul to see something like that happens,” Bowman says POLITICO to watch the video of Floyd’s death. “I couldn’t contain myself and I made a direct-to-camera video on my reaction and I was sobbing. I was crying.”
Bowman’s campaign got a boost when Engel was caught on a hot microphone during an event in the middle of civil unrest, saying: “If I don’t have a primary, I don’t care.” At the time, Engel said that “in the context of running for re-election, I thought it was important for people to know where I am, that is why I have asked to speak. “
Engel has touted his support of the Justice in the Law on the Police and the riders of the black legislators as a civil rights icon John Lewis, New York, Dir. Hakeem Jeffries, and the Congressional Black Caucus ‘ political arm. He also said that his office has allowed him to “bring home the bacon” to the district, which has been hit by the coronavirus.
“Unlike our opponent, the deputy of the response to the pandemic was to go out and fight for the sum of 6 [billion] in additional aid for New York hospitals, including many in the district,” said Tom Watson, Engel’s director of communications. “It has been obtaining funding for community health centers, and fighting to keep Mount Vernon Hospital open.”
Foreign policy has also violated the primary, with Bowman bashing Engel for voting for the Iraq War, and to be “fully funded by corporate PACs and the big donors, and many of those who are arming. “The Democratic Majority for Israel, a super PAC, aired ads supporting Engel, one of the main pro-Israel voice in the House, and hitting Bowman, who has criticized the Israeli government’s treatment of the Palestinians. The group has reserved an additional amount of $250 000 spots Tuesday, according to the Advertisement of the analysis.
A Bowman win would make him the fourth candidate supported by the anti-establishment of the Justice of the Democrats for the impeachment of a Democratic candidate for 2018. The organization, which has developed a strategy after 2018 is to go on a single candidate at a time, rather than endorse dozens like many groups, supported by Bowman after a public education activist has proposed its candidacy for its recruitment program.
Shahid, stated the organization possesses Bowman because of “his record of leadership in the district, in its commitment to racial and economic justice throughout his career, and the fact that his opponent is particularly vulnerable.” Engel role of the Democratic House leadership was also a factor. “Someone with so much power should be someone who is attentive to the needs of their neighborhood,” said Shahid.
Two weeks after Sanders withdrew from the presidential race, the Justice Democrats, held an event featuring former Sanders and Warren helpers who have supported Bowman. The group has seen an influx of interest in the New York primary since Super Tuesday, when Joe Biden, has built a delegate lead that proved to be impossible for Sanders to overcome and that has prompted Warren to fall.
There have been other attempts to promote progressive unity in the Bronx and Westchester County-based 16th District. The Working Families Party has helped negotiate the departure of Ghebreghiorgis of the race and his endorsement of Bowman, with New York director Sochie Nnaemeka play a key role, according to several people familiar with the moves. That has helped prevent the progressive vote for the separation. Engel, on the other hand, has two other moderate challengers, Sammy Ravelo, and Chris Fink.
The consolidation is such an achievement for the left, which is known for the chips, which Ghebreghiorgis said activists of the party of Democratic socialism in America and other progressive asked him, in reference to the abandonment and the creation of an organization of the progressive front, behind Bowman, “How can we make this scalable … in a race where you can see any problem of this kind?”
To the left across the country to recognize the Bowman bid is likely to be one of their last, best opportunities to take an entrenched Democratic incumbent because of the reality of the primary election calendar.
“If you’re a progressive who has supported Bernie or Warren, part and parcel, is truly one of the last pictures we have at a win this year,” said Shahid. “It is the main one that can remove an AOC style of victory.”