NEW YORK (AP) — Former middle school principal Jamaal Bowman has toppled 16-term U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel in New York’s Democratic primary in another upset victory for the party’s insurgent wing.
A political novice who has never held public office before, Bowman, 44, was a progressive African American challenger who said Engel, the 73-year-old chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, had lost touch with his economically and racially diverse district.
Bowman declared victory in the race on June 24, a day after the primary election.
The Associated Press was able to call the race Friday after obtaining an absentee vote count that showed Engel narrowly ahead among votes received by mail, but not by nearly the margin necessary to overcome Bowman’s Election Day advantage.
“The numbers are clear, and I will not be the Democratic nominee for the 16th Congressional District seat in the fall election,” Engel said. “Serving the people of the Bronx and Westchester in Congress has been the greatest privilege of my life, and what a remarkable 32 years it has been.”