Rep. Engel Losing Big to Primary Opponent Despite Endorsement from Hillary, Schumer

Rep. Eliot Engel is losing big to his primary opponent Jamaal Bowman despite being endorsed by Hillary Clinton, Cuomo and Schumer.

Krystal Ball of HillTV tweeted “HRC, Cuomo, and Schumer all backed Engel”

Jamaal Bowman tweeted:

There is no campaign without the individuals who’ve been working every single day for an entire year.

I could not have done this without your support, discipline, and love.

Most especially thank you to my campaign manager, @BxHayes — a true Jedi master.

AOC, who endorsed Bowman shared one of Bowman’s earlier tweets and added:

We are seeing reports of voting lines as long as 3 hours in LeFrak City as well. Other poll sites are much faster.

If you can, STAY IN LINE!

If you are *in line* at your polling location by 9pm, you CAN vote.

Per CNN, Two years after Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez first upended Democratic politics, another progressive newcomer, former Bronx middle school teacher Jamaal Bowman, is looking to repeat the feat by ousting longtime New York Rep. Eliot Engel, the House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman.

The race heated up in the final stretch, as Engel, who hasn’t faced a serious challenger in years, received a surge of support from moderate Democrats, including Hillary Clinton and party leaders on Capitol Hill and benefited from a late splurge of outside spending. Bowman, a Justice Democrats recruit, has the backing of Ocasio-Cortez and Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

New York delayed its primaries because of the coronavirus and offered voters the opportunity to cast their ballots by mail, which means the results in the 16th district and around the state might not be known for a week or more. But victory for Bowman would be a resounding rebuke to the Democratic Party establishment both in the state and Washington, D.C. — and reason for optimism among progressives disappointed after Sanders fell short in his second presidential bid earlier this year.

Engel did himself no favors over the past few months, making national headlines for a pair of missteps that played directly into Bowman’s argument that, after more than thirty years on the job, the co-dean of the state delegation had lost touch with his district.

The first came when it was revealed that Engel had spent the worst New York City’s coronavirus crisis at his home in Maryland, hours away from one of the hardest hit districts in the country. Engel, in an interview with CNN, reasoned that he was following doctor’s orders, saying his house outside Washington is larger than his apartment in the city, and so better accommodated to quarantining with his wife.

But the more damaging episode came in early June, when a live microphone caught Engel asking to speak at a news conference in the Bronx. After being told there wasn’t time, Engel pleaded his case.

“If I didn’t have a primary, I wouldn’t care,” he said — twice.

“My reaction was: ‘We know.’ That was my reaction,” Bowman told CNN when asked about the remark. “We know that if you didn’t have a primary, you wouldn’t care. That’s why we were critical of him prior to that moment for being absent during the pandemic, that’s why we’ve been critical of him for living in Maryland for 27 of the 31 years he’s been in office while his district has suffered.”

Engel has repeatedly dismissed the suggestion that his keeping a home in Maryland or being absent from the district earlier this year will hurt him on Tuesday. Instead, he points to his seniority on Capitol Hill and voting record.

“The voters aren’t stupid. They vote for me every two years because they know I care about them,” Engel told CNN. “I work hard for them, I produce for them, and I vote the way they would like for me to vote. And I’ve been very, very effective.”