Democrats

Bernie Sanders Endorses Engel Challenger

Jamaal Bowman and Sen. Bernie Sanders/ Facebook

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) on Tuesday endorsed progressive Democratic candidate and educator Jamaal Bowman, who is running to unseat Rep. Eliot Engel (D., N.Y.).

"@JamaalBowmanNY is a public school teacher and principal who understands that low-income families are locked out of opportunity and a decent life due to a rigged system," Sanders wrote on Twitter. "In Congress he'll fight to invest in public schools, end mass incarceration, and address the housing crisis."

Bowman is endorsed by Justice Democrats, the far-left group that helped elect Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) in 2018. He is also backed by The Jewish Vote, a group whose leaders defended anti-Semitic remarks, voiced support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, and compared Israel to Nazi Germany. Bowman touted the group's endorsement and said he was "incredibly proud to work with The Jewish Vote to take on anti-Semitism."

Bowman also expressed support for defunding the police, saying he would reallocate police department funds to schools and health care facilities.

Ocasio-Cortez on Wednesday announced her support for Bowman, two weeks ahead of New York's Democratic primary.

During a candidate forum on Sunday, Engel criticized Ocasio-Cortez's endorsement of his opponent.

"This is not a dictatorship. This is a democracy," Engel said. "We shouldn't have one person, from high, even though she's a colleague of mine, think that she can anoint whoever's elected."