In the primary race set to determine if U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel will get that two-year “contract renewal” he’s hoping for from voters, it’s come down to not money, but endorsements.
With the primary just weeks away, both Engel and frontrunning challenger Jamaal Bowman have been working to see who can outdo who when it comes to endorsements. They’ve even turned to people already working on Capitol Hill.
Although it shouldn’t be much of a surprise since they both have the Justice Democrats political group in common, Bowman received a major push by U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Bowman is trying to do what AOC accomplished in 2018 — unseat an entrenched congressman, even against all odds.
Engel, however, has some congressional endorsements of his own, like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and colleague Maxine Waters of California.
“I think the people of New York are very blessed to have (Engel) in Congress,” Pelosi said, in a release. She touted Engel’s control of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and his role as a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
“That’s a lot of power,” Pelosi said.
But Bowman is no pushover himself, Ocasio-Cortez said.
“Jamaal has dedicated the last decade of his life serving his community as a school principal and community servant,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a Twitter post last week. “I could tell you all about him, but he tells his story better than anyone else.”
Bowman also picked up a former Engel endorser, state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi. But he didn’t stop there when it came to Albany’s upper chamber.
U.S. Sen. Gustavo Rivera is backing Bowman over Engel, calling the educator “the future.”
“Our community is in pain and needs leadership that is on the ground and ready to address the challenges we face,” Rivera said, in a release.
Engel, however, picked up his own senator — Jamaal Bailey.
“Time and again, Eliot has stood with me and our community on issues including equal rights, health care for all, funding community health centers, and fighting back against hate crimes and social injustice,” Bailey said, in a release.