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NY Dem tees up primary against ‘Squad’ member under fire for Israel stance, fire alarm fiasco

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Westchester County, New York, Executive George Latimer officially filed federal paperwork to declare his candidacy for Congress, teeing up a Democratic primary challenged against “Squad” member Rep. Jamaal Bowman. 

Federal Election Commission documents reviewed online by Fox News Digital show Latimer filed a statement of candidacy for Congress on Monday. 

Speculation has mounted for months that the Democratic politician would throw his hat in the ring and challenge Bowman after the left-wing congressman made repeated comments that were viewed by some voters in the heavily-Jewish district as anti-Israel. 

Bowman was first elected in 2020 to represent New York’s 16th Congressional District, which encompasses parts of the Bronx and suburban Westchester, as a progressive candidate before becoming a member of the informal left-wing congressional group known as “The Squad.”

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House Democratic Rep. Jamaal Bowman pulled a fire alarm at a congressional office building on September 30th. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via Getty)

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Latimer has not yet made a public announcement concerning his candidacy. The FEC filing follows Latimer’s return from a four-day trip to Israel that was organized by the Westchester Jewish Council. 

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Bowman is up for reelection next year, but his run is already mired in controversy over his comments on Israel, which some voters and national viewers have seen as anti-Israel.

Westchester County exectuive

Westchester, New York, County Executive George Latimer.  (Westechester County )

The Squad member has come under fire for calling for a ceasefire amid the raging war between Israel and Hamas, for boycotting Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s speech to Congress this summer, and defending Rep. Pramila Jayapal when she came under fire for saying that Israel is a “racist state.” Just last month, Bowman also saw an event intended to spread “healing” amid antisemitism devolve into protesters demanding that the congressman represent Jews in his district when making policy decision. 

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Bowman has repeatedly condemned Hamas’ attacks on Israel, including on Oct. 7 when the terrorist organization launched its attacks on the nation. 

Democrat New York Rep. Jamaal Bowman

Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) speaks at the National Action Network’s (NAN) three-day annual national convention on April 07, 2022 in New York City. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The New York congressman also faced controversy this fall after he pulled a fire alarm in the House of Representatives before lawmakers voted to avert a government shut down.

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“A lot of observers right now think that this is close to, if not the nadir, for Bowman,” New York-based political consultant Jake Dilemani told Fox News Digital last month as speculation grew around a potential Latimer run. “This is the bottom for Bowman with certain people in the district and certain other political observers. And rewind to last year, people were disappointed with him.”

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The Westchester politician is considered a Democrat powerhouse in the area, and has previously served in the New York Assembly and state Senate before his election as Westchester County executive in 2018. 

“George has had a very long and successful career in politics in Westchester County as a Democrat. He’s never lost an election,” Dilemani, who previously worked with Latimer on campaigns, added in his previous comment to Fox. 

While Bowman’s support among constituents appears to be falling due to his comments on Israel, other groups have called on Latimer to not run against the congressman, including the Anti-Racist Alliance. Bowman also picked up an endorsement last week from the progressive Working Families Party. 

Bowman’s office did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment on Latimer’s likely primary challenge. 

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Source: Fox News

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