Jamaal Bowman Falls in Primary as Voters Segregate Themselves Into Opponent's Camp

Jamaal Bowman rallies outside of his district in the South Bronx. (Getty Images)
June 25, 2024

Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D., N.Y.) became the first "Squad" member to lose reelection, falling to Westchester County executive George Latimer in a race that largely centered on Bowman's intense hostility toward the Jewish state—and Jewish voters in his district.

Latimer led Bowman by 9 points with 51 percent of the vote reported when the Associated Press called the race just before 9:40 p.m. on Tuesday.

Bowman's loss makes him the first member of the left-wing "Squad" to lose reelection. It also comes days after the two-term lawmaker accused Jewish voters in his district of segregation. While those in New York City "all live together," Bowman said in an interview, there are "certain places where the Jews live and concentrate" just north of the city in Westchester County, which Bowman represents.

"Westchester is segregated. There's certain places where the Jews live and concentrate," Bowman said. "Scarsdale, parts of White Plains, parts of New Rochelle, Riverdale. I'm sure they made a decision to do that for their own reasons."

The strategy was a bizarre one, given that the large majority of voters in Bowman's district reside in Westchester County—and given that Latimer has represented the area at the local level for nearly two decades.

At the end of the race, Bowman acknowledged that he was no longer trying to convince voters to support him, saying, "This is not about persuasion. We got our people. They got their people." Bowman instead directed his focus toward the South Bronx, which is not in his district.

He held a rally there with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) on Saturday, pledging to unleash the "power of the motherf—ing South Bronx" on his critics. Ocasio-Cortez said 1,200 people attended the rally, though a subsequent video she shared of the crowd showed far fewer attendees.

After the event concluded, Bowman bused volunteers into the small part of the Bronx he represents. He trailed Latimer in Westchester County by 24 points when the race was called.

The race became the most expensive House primary in history thanks in large part to millions of dollars in anti-Bowman spending from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Bowman referred to that spending as "Republican racist MAGA Trump money," though prominent members of his own party backed Latimer, including former congressman and staunch progressive Mondaire Jones.

Beyond his issues with Jewish voters, Bowman faced criticism for falsely pulling a fire alarm in a House office building as members voted on a bill to avoid a government shutdown. The House voted to censure him in response, and Bowman pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge that stemmed from the incident.

It's unclear what Bowman will do next following his loss. Before joining Congress, he ran a blog under the web address, "," where he published a poem promoting conspiracy theories about the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

"2001/Planes used as missiles/Target: The Twin Towers," Bowman wrote. "Later in the day/Building 7/Also Collaspsed [sic]/Hmm…/Multiple explosions/Heard before/And during the collapse/Hmm…"

While Bowman is the first "Squad" member to lose reelection, other members of the left-wing group could soon join him in defeat. AIPAC is also supporting Missouri Democratic congresswoman Cori Bush's primary challenger, St. Louis County prosecutor Wesley Bell. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.), meanwhile, will again face Don Samuels two years after she narrowly defeated the former Minneapolis City Council member in a contentious primary. Both elections will take place in August.