Bowman Leading Engel In NY-16; Jones Ahead In NY-17 | WAMC

Bowman Leading Engel In NY-16; Jones Ahead In NY-17

Jun 24, 2020

With thousands of absentee ballots left to be counted, it’s too early to call the Democratic primary race in New York’s 16th House district. But 16-term incumbent Eliot Engel is in serious danger of losing the primary to educator Jamaal Bowman, who had about 61 percent of the vote Tuesday. Engel had about 36 percent. Bowman didn’t claim victory outright Tuesday night when he addressed supporters.

"So many people are hopeless and have lost faith not just in the political system, but with each other. But our movement is designed to restore that faith, to restore that hope, to bring back the belief in what is possible," Bowman said.

Engel is chair of the powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee. In another close Democratic primary race featuring a longtime incumbent, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney leads Suraj Patel by a few hundred votes with absentee ballots remaining in the 12th House district. Maloney has been in Congress since 1993.

In the 17th House district Democratic primary, Mondaire Jones is out front in the race to replace the retiring Rep. Nita Lowey. Jones addressed supporters in a social media video distributed by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders Tuesday night. Jones says he would be the first openly gay Black man in Congress. 

"This is for Barbara Jordan, that powerful voice in the United States House of Representatives who could not live an authentic life," says Jones. "This is for Bayard Rustin, the architect of the march on Washington who could not publicly be associated with Martin Luther King [Jr.] because of the scandal of who he loved. This is for Harvey Milk." 

In the 22nd House district, former Republican Congresswoman Claudia Tenney is leading the primary race as she bids for a rematch with Democratic Rep. Anthony Brindisi in November. And in the Republican primary in New York’s 19th district, Ola Hawatmeh is leading Kyle Van De Water by about 500 votes, with absentees left to count.