Progressives Shut Down in Most Expensive Primary Ever

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The progressive candidate lost significantly as Democrat factions battled in the most expensive House primary in history.

In a decisive victory that underscores the ideological rift within the Democratic Party, Westchester County Executive George Latimer has unseated Representative Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) in the Democratic primary for New York’s 16th Congressional District.

Decision Desk HQ has projected Latimer’s win, marking a significant setback for the progressive wing of the party in what has been one of the most contentious primaries of this election cycle.

Latimer’s triumph over Bowman represents more than just a personal victory; it symbolizes a broader struggle between moderate and progressive factions within the Democratic Party.

Bowman, a prominent member of the progressive “Squad,” first gained his seat by unseating long-time moderate Representative Eliot Engel (D) in 2020.

His tenure has been marked by a commitment to progressive policies, which clashed sharply with Latimer’s moderate stances, particularly on foreign policy.

The primary spotlighted this clash, especially following the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, which resulted in the deaths of approximately 1,200 people.

Latimer’s campaign capitalized on Bowman’s controversial comments regarding the conflict.

Bowman called for a permanent ceasefire between Israel and Hamas and opposed additional arms shipments to Israel, positions that Latimer vigorously criticized.

Latimer also targeted Bowman’s initial dismissal of reports of sexual violence by Hamas on October 7 as “lies” and “propaganda,” comments Bowman later retracted and apologized for after the United Nations corroborated these reports.

The race also saw unprecedented financial involvement, with millions of dollars flooding in from both local and national sources.

This financial influx made it the most expensive House primary in U.S. history.

High-profile endorsements further highlighted the ideological divide: former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Representative Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) threw their support behind the moderate Latimer, while Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) backed Bowman.

With Bowman’s loss, he becomes the first incumbent House Democrat to fall to a primary challenge in this election cycle.

Latimer, given the district’s solidly Democratic leanings, is now poised to secure the House seat in the November elections.

This outcome not only reshapes the political landscape of New York’s 16th Congressional District but may raise alarms for the Democratic Party’s progressive approach to key issues moving forward.

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