Pro-Israel Democrat to challenge U.S. Rep. Jamal Bowman in next year’s primary race


ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A pro-Israel Democrat will challenge U.S. Rep. Jamal Brown in the primary race for a congressional seat next year.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer announced his candidacy Wednesday for the New York district, which includes parts of the North Bronx and Westchester suburbs.

Bowman is one of the most vocal critics of Israel and Jewish community leaders in the House Have been encouraging Latimer to run Since the outbreak of the latest Israel-Hamas war. The 70-year-old started his campaign with an ad Criticized Bowman's stance on the conflict as well as his opposition to a major Democratic infrastructure bill.

"This is a consistent comment from people who live in the district who feel they are not currently fairly represented," Latimer said in an interview with The Associated Press. "His focus has been on making a national name for himself."

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Latimer, who returned from a trip to Israel last week, insisted that Bowman's stance on the conflict was only part of why he decided to flee. He said the focus would be on progressive policies in other areas, including housing and abortion.

Bowman's press office did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

The congressman has condemned Hamas' October 7 attack on Israel and rising anti-Semitism, but has also criticized US military aid to Israel and made statements that are considered inflammatory by Israel's staunch supporters.

Last month, Bowman said his office was flooded with calls because he was among the few House members who opposed it Resolution in support of Israel, He told the crowd at a recent cease-fire rally that he opposed the proposal because, "I don't think it gives us a path forward toward peace and justice for all people."

“Every person's life is precious,” he said. “We cannot allow anyone's life to be erased. This destruction of Palestinian life and experience has been going on for decades.

In September, Bowman received national attention after triggering a fire alarm at the Canon House office building as lawmakers scrambled to pass a funding bill before the government shutdown deadline.

He later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge for the move, but said it was a mistake because he had tried to open a locked door while running to vote.

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