Bowman holds double digit lead over Rep. Eliot Engel

early lead

cory torpie

Jamaal Bowman

The highly watched race in New York’s 16th district was too close — and too early — to call by Wednesday morning. Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) is trailing his progressive challenger Jamaal Bowman by double digits, with current results showing Bowman at 61% compared to Engel’s 35% with 33,000 votes cast in person.

Election night statements: Speaking to supporters last night, Bowman was confident that he would emerge victorious once the absentee ballots are counted. In a statement released Tuesday night, Engel noted that “every primary ballot must be counted” to know the full results. Dave Wasserman of the Cook Political Report suggested there could be up to 60,000 mail-in votes to count.

Troublemaker: In his remarks, Bowman said he “cannot wait to get to Congress and cause problems — for the people there who have been maintaining a status quo that is literally killing our children.”

Turning the page: New York City Councilman Brad Lander (D-Brooklyn) told Jewish Insider after attending the Bowman election night party, “Of course we must take the time to count every vote, but I’m feeling very optimistic about Jamaal’s lead. He won by big margins throughout this diverse district, even in the heart of Riverdale. It’s an impressive election night lead that will be hard to overcome on paper, even with a lot of paper.”

Writing was on the wall: Stu Loeser, a political consultant and Riverdale resident, told JI that Engel has himself to blame for his presumed loss, refusing to learn from former Rep. Joe Crowley’s defeat in 2018. Engel’s absence during the coronavirus outbreak was a driving factor in Bowman’s rise. “Crowley lost the next seat because his smart opponent emphasized how he didn’t live in the district anymore,” Loeser noted. “Engel could’ve run a perfect race and still lose. But he didn’t run a perfect race.”

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