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Engel charges that opponent is ‘bought and paid for’ by Justice Democrats

The 16-term congressman sparred with the educator during a debate Wednesday night


Jamaal Bowman and Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY)

Rep. Eliot Engel and primary challenger Jamaal Bowman had a heated exchange over outside support during a debate on Wednesday, less than two weeks before primary voters in New York’s 16th congressional district head to the polls.

Exchange: During the debate, aired on NY1, Engel attacked Bowman for $500,000 worth of TV spending from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY)-backed groups and the Justice Democrats PAC, saying the challenger would be beholden to them. 

Bowman responded with his own accusations: “Our critique of Congressman Engel is he’s completely funded by corporate PACs, he’s completely funded by large donors, he’s completely funded by weapons manufacturers, big pharmaceutical companies and big real estate companies. You cannot call yourself a progressive when you’re accountable to corporate PACs and weapons manufacturers. And when you look at his voting record — allowing a sale of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia, opposing Barack Obama’s signature foreign policy, which is the Iran deal. Eliot Engel opposed that deal. So when you look at who funds him, and what he says and what he votes for, you see a conflict of interest in terms of his foreign policy.” 

Engel countered: “I cannot believe that Mr. Bowman says what he says with a straight face. He’s bought and paid for by the Justice Dems. That’s the way it is. And to pretend otherwise, it’s just disingenuous.”

Trending: The longtime congressman has faced a series of campaign setbacks in the lead-up to the June 23 primary. In the last week, Bowman has picked up endorsements from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer and New York State Senator Alessandra Biaggi, who had previously endorsed Engel but switched her support to Bowman.

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