Latimer: I outraised Bowman this quarter

Rep. Jamaal Bowman announced he raised a hefty $1.3 million in the first three months of 2024

Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Westchester County Executive George Latimer (Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

George Latimer, the Westchester County executive challenging Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) in the Democratic primary, says he expects to announce next week that he outraised the incumbent congressman in the first quarter of this year. 

Both Latimer and Bowman have delivered impressive fundraising hauls thus far this cycle, though the Westchester County executive has outraised the incumbent congressman. Bowman announced on Friday he brought in $1.3 million in the first quarter of this year, nearly double the $725,000 he raised in the last quarter of 2023. 

By contrast, Latimer raised $1.4 million in December alone. While Latimer has yet to release his first-quarter numbers, he tells Jewish Insider that his earnings will exceed Bowman’s. 

“We’re going to announce our figures next Wednesday when we’re sure we’ve done all the math right,” Latimer said in an interview on Friday, adding that the numbers are “going to show that we outraised him this quarter as well, and that our aggregate results are still well ahead of his. And I’m sure our cash on hand is going to be well ahead of his.”

Asked what it says about the stakes of the race that millions are pouring into the contest, Latimer said he thinks “that people have described the race as more than just this seat in this area.”

“I am a local person. My public career has been within Westchester County,” Latimer said, differentiating himself from Bowman. “He’s had three and a half years to be a national figure. I think he’s strived to be a national figure. He really likes having that soapbox to stand on to talk about societal issues, and I view it very differently. I think the difference in the way we define the position attracts different people.”

Bowman is one of a few Squad-affiliated members who are facing primary challengers over their steadfast opposition to Israel, though the far-left Democrat has emerged as one of the most vulnerable of the incumbents. Bowman’s incendiary rhetoric about Oct. 7 and Israel — and associations with antisemitic individuals — have angered his Jewish constituents, who make up a significant share of voters in his Westchester-based district. 

“What’s so interesting about this race specifically is that the Jewish vote could end up being really determinative,” Democratic strategist Jon Reinish told JI of the contest. “It’s the New York City suburbs and part of New York City itself with a very high Jewish population. So that certainly stands out from many of these other districts with similarly aligned lawmakers.”

Reinish said that while a number of Squad lawmakers “are facing primaries they probably would have had anyway,” efforts to oust some of them have “obviously intensified in the wake of Oct. 7, especially since you’ve seen that their rhetoric has become not bridge building, but all that much more radicalized, all that much more incendiary and confrontational.” 

Bowman has faced a number of controversies in the last year alone, most prominently when he pled guilty to a misdemeanor for triggering a false fire alarm in a House building. His hostility towards Israel has made foreign policy a far bigger factor in his race against Latimer than would typically be expected in a House race. 

Latimer says Israel would not be his primary focus while serving in Congress. While he supports Israel in its war to eliminate Hamas, the Westchester native says he would spend his time working on issues of local concern. 

“If I’m a congressman, I think my attitude is we go to Washington and we work on our domestic priorities because that’s very clear to us,” Latimer told JI. 

And while he says he hopes President Joe Biden “and his negotiators can get to the right result of working with Israel,” Latimer “understands his tensions” with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. 

“If there were a candidate to beat an incumbent member of Congress, this is the candidate to do so,” New York-based Democratic strategist Jake Dilemani told JI of Latimer’s path to victory. 

Dilemani described Bowman as down but not out, noting the “incumbency factor is a major component” that benefits the congressman. He added that many of the far-left groups backing Bowman, such as the Democratic Socialists of America, “are known for having very strong ground games and having a lot of boots on the ground, which matters in many elections, certainly in a primary election.”

News of a recent poll, commissioned by a Democratic pro-Israel group, showing Latimer leading Bowman by 17 points among Democratic primary voters, was a boost to the former’s campaign, but Latimer told JI he sees his victory against the congressman as no sure thing. 

“The polling data obviously is very encouraging. I’ve learned over the years that a poll is a snapshot of what’s happening at a moment in time. And there’s still 11-plus weeks to go in the campaign,” Latimer said. “So we take it as a positive sign, but we keep working.”

“I think the diligence that I’ve shown and my team has shown up to now projects ahead to what we intend to do,” he continued. “We intend to be out in the communities campaigning, we intend to have common sense on issues. If we are where we are in that poll on primary day, that’s the poll that counts.”

Subscribe now to
the Daily Kickoff

The politics and business news you need to stay up to date, delivered each morning in a must-read newsletter.