Jamaal Bowman’s brawl with his primary challenger just got even nastier

Jamaal Bowman’s brawl with his primary challenger just got even nastier
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Rep. Jamaal Bowman and Westchester County Executive George Latimer
George Latimer (left) is facing charges of Islamophobia after saying that Rep. Jamaal Bowman’s “constituency is Dearborn.”

  • Rep. Jamaal Bowman’s primary challenger, George Latimer, is facing accusations of Islamophobia.
  • Latimer said that Bowman’s “constituency is Dearborn,” a city with a prominent Muslim population.
  • Bowman has received very little money from Dearborn.

Rep. Jamaal Bowman of New York is in the fight of his political life against Westchester County Executive George Latimer ahead of the June 25 primary.

That fight got even nastier on Monday, with Latimer facing charges of Islamophobia after he invoked Dearborn, Michigan during a virtual debate hosted by the League of Women Voters of Westchester County.

“When you get as much money as you get from outside the district, your constituency is Dearborn, Michigan. Your constituency is San Francisco, California,” said Latimer. “It’s not Harrison, it’s not Tuckahoe, it’s not Scarsdale. You’re not even there to be part of the events of those communities.”

Bowman accused Latimer on Tuesday morning of using an “Islamophobic dogwhistle.” Progressives in general have argued that Latimer is running a bigoted campaign against Bowman, which Latimer refutes.

“George Latimer has traded in his dog-whistle for a bullhorn,” said New York Working Families Party Co-Director Jasmine Gripper said in a statement, arguing that his “bigoted comments against Arab-Americans is the latest in a series of racist appeals that have only served to divide the community.”

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A spokesperson for Latimer’s campaign dismissed the accusations of Islamophobia.

“Another day, another lie from Jamaal Bowman,” said the spokesperson. “George’s comments were taken out of context – because in the same breath he also mentioned San Francisco, California — another city where the incumbent has received donations from.”

Dearborn is a majority-Arab city in Michigan that’s home to one of the largest Muslim populations per capita in the US.

It’s been the focal point of the Uncommitted movement, with Democrats withholding their votes for President Joe Biden over his support for Israel’s war in Gaza.

In the course of a heated primary that’s revolved primarily around Bowman’s critical stance toward Israel, Latimer has long argued that the controversial congressman is not adequately attuned to the needs of the district.

He has also highlighted many of Bowman’s controversies, including pulling a fire alarm at the Capitol, his past support for 9/11 conspiracy theories, and his one-time denial of sexual violence on October 7.

It’s true that most of Bowman’s $2.7 million fundraising haul this cycle has come from outside of New York.

But a review of the Bowman campaign’s filings with the Federal Election Commission show that less than $24,000 of Bowman’s itemized contributions have come from Michigan. That includes a combined $1,250 from two Dearborn residents and $6,600 from a single donor in Dearborn Heights.

Bowman also maintains a joint fundraising committee with Rep. Rashida Tlaib, who does represent Dearborn. But filings indicate that the group’s roughly $30,000 sum has come entirely from New York-based donors.

Latimer has received significant financial backing from the pro-Israel group AIPAC, which has spent more than $13 million on the primary so far. Many of the group’s donors are Republicans, a fact that progressives have been eager to highlight.

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But Latimer’s financial support is also more local — roughly 70% of his direct contributions come from New York, while less than 30% of Bowman’s come from the state.

“The hard truth is that the majority of the incumbent’s donors come from hundreds and thousands of miles away from the Bronx and Westchester — the communities where the electorate actually live and will be voting from starting June 15,” said the Latimer spokesperson.

Read the original article on Business Insider


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