Jamaal Bowman vs George Latimer election preview: What to know

Two New York Democrats are facing off in a contentious battle spanning parts of the Bronx and Westchester.

Two-term incumbent Rep. Jamaal Bowman and fellow Democrat George Latimer, the current Westchester County Executive, are running to represent the 16th District of New York. 

NY Congressional races have played a critical role in determining who controls the House. 

Recent polls show Latimer ahead of Bowman, just days before primary day.

Jump to:

Who is Jamaal Bowman? 

Who is George Latimer? 

Election Day in New York is Tuesday, June 24. Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.  Early voting goes through June 23. 

See here for more information on how to vote. 


New York early voting underway: What to know

This Saturday is the last day to register to vote, and it is also considered to be the "Golden Day," because it is the only day out of the voting person where residents can register and vote at the same time.

New York's 16th Congressional District

The results will essentially set the framework for the party's message in November and show how the most crucial suburban districts might vote in the fall.

Both candidates say they'll be on the road every day leading up to primary day to ensure voters get to the polls. 

Recently, the two have gone head-to-head on issues over the Israel-Hamas war, tax records, and gun violence.

What are voters saying?

New York's 16th Congressional District between incumbent Jamaal Bowman (right) and challenger George Latimer (left). 

FOX 5 NY's Richard Giacovis spoke to voters who went to the polls Saturday. 

Voters in the 16th Congressional District rallied to the polls shortly after they opened. 

"I've never voted early, but today, because this is such an important race, I'm here," one voter said. 

Voters seemed the most concerned about issues regarding education, housing and the war in Gaza. 

Who is Jamaal Bowman? 

U.S. Rep. Jamaal Bowman, 48, a former middle school principal, seeking his third term, is arguably one of the House's most critical voices on Israel. 

In 2020, he defeated U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, who had served 16 terms. 

Bowman, a more moderate Democrat, represents the largest Jewish population outside of New York City. 

Regardless of pushback, Bowman, a member of ‘The Squad,' said this race is about reintroducing himself to voters. 

While he has condemned Hamas' attack, he claims that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza.

Some of Bowman's priorities include but are not limited to: 

  • The Green New Deal
  • Medicare for all
  • Ending antisemitism, Islamophobia, and all hate
  • Immigration reform

WASHINGTON - APRIL 20: Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y, walks down the House steps after the last votes of the week in the Capitol on Thursday, April 20, 2023. (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

His stance has put him at odds with the establishment, so much so, The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a major lobbying organization, launched an entire campaign in order to unseat him. 

In an interview with the Associated Press, Bowman defended his position on Israel.

When asked how he plans to convince Jewish New Yorkers to vote for him, "Well, it's not just about convincing Jewish New Yorkers. It's about convincing everyone across the district and just reintroducing myself."

In September, Bowman drew national attention after he triggered a fire alarm in the Cannon House Office Building as lawmakers scrambled to pass a funding bill before a government shutdown deadline.

He later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count for the move, but maintained it was a mistake as he tried to open a locked door while rushing to vote.

Who is George Latimer? 

HARRISON, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2023/08/07: Westchester County Executive George Latimer speaks during Governor Kathy Hochul announcement of completion of Avalon Harrison near Metro-North station with 143 affordable units and easy access to trains

George Latimer, 70, has been a political figure in the district for over 30 years and serves as the Westchester County Executive.

Previously, Latimer served as a local and state legislator. 

He recently scored the endorsement of former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. 

He says that Bowman's stance on Israel is only part of the reason he decided to join the race. 

Latimer believes voters in the district want a more moderate, pragmatic candidate than Bowman. 

Some of Latimer's priorities include but are not limited to: 

  • Investing in infrastructure
  • Comprehensive Immigration reform
  • Safeguarding the environment
  • Protecting medical and social security

Unlike Bowman, Latimer has condemned Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel and rising antisemitism, but has also been critical of U.S. military aid to Israel.

"If I go to Washington, I’m not going down there to be part of the verbal food fight. I’m going to try to figure out how to be a productive congressman that gets what results you can get," Latimer said in an interview with AP. 

Bowman vs Latimer over Israel-Hamas war

Both candidates have supported a two-state solution and say they want peace in the region. 

Whereas Bowman is critical of Israel’s actions and wants a cease-fire, Latimer is clear in his support for Israel and said negotiating with Hamas is a nonstarter.

Latimer also said he wouldn't give Israel "a blank check" on everything it chooses to do. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.