Jamaal Bowman, George Latimer make final push in New York primary election. What to know about the key race.

New York primary election day will decide key race between Jamaal Bowman and George Latimer

New York primary election day will decide key race between Jamaal Bowman and George Latimer

New York primary election day will decide key race between Jamaal Bowman and George Latimer

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. — Tuesday is Primary Election Day in New York, and eyes are on a tense battle in the state’s 16th Congressional District, where Rep. Jamaal Bowman is facing a fierce challenge from Westchester County Executive George Latimer.

It is the most expensive congressional primary in history, with almost $25 million raised and spent.

If Latimer wins, he would be the first challenger to successfully unseat a member of the Democrats’ left wing.

The district includes Co-Op City and Wakefield in the Bronx, and most of southern Westchester. The seat is reliably blue, meaning whoever wins the Democratic primary will be the heavy favorite to win in November.

All eyes on Mount Vernon on the last day of campaigning

With 30,000 registered Democrats, Mount Vernon is a key prize in this heated primary. Only 1,500 people voted early, so both campaigns will have big get-out-the-vote efforts there on Tuesday.

On Monday, there were actual hugs after a political embrace of Latimer for Congress. A group of Black ministers backed the county executive in his hometown.

“George is our guy. This is not a black and white issue for us. This is an issue about who’s right, who’s better for the job and the position,” said the Rev. Troy DeCohen of Mount Vernon Heights Congregational Church.

It meshed perfectly with Latimer’s central theme — that he’s a guy who will make headway on issues, not headlines on social media.

“Stop this performance art, and get down to some performance,” Latimer said.

Bowman was a no-show Monday at a food pantry event in Mount Vernon. He later briefly campaigned at an apartment complex with Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley.

Bowman was also joined Monday by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at a rally for volunteers at Hartley Park. He sounded confident he’d be back in Washington for a third term.

“Send a lifelong educator back to Congress. Send a working-class person back to Congress,” Bowman said.

Israel-Hamas war a central issue in the race

This primary race has been heated from the start and exposed deep divisions within the Democratic party, especially when it comes to the U.S. policy on Israel.

Bowman has been one of Congress’s leading critics of Israel’s war with Hamas, vocalizing his support for a ceasefire, and is against U.S. military aid.

Over the weekend, he dropped f-bombs during a fiery attack on the flood of money funding ads against him, much of it raised through the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC.

“My opponent and AIPAC are the ones destroying American democracy,” Bowman said.

Meanwhile, Latimer has been running on a more centrist position, affirming Israel’s right to existence and self-defense.

Democratic strategist Hank Sheinkopf was asked if the outcome matters to the Democratic party.

“It matters who wins because it exposes the rift in the Democratic party between the left and the center over Israel and the war in the Middle East,” Sheinkopf said.

Sheinkopf says the intense internal debate over Israel could do great damage to the party in the fall.

“One side has tremendous resources and the other side has organizing ability. What we’ll see here is if the money outweighs the bodies on the streets and it’s likely that the money will,” Sheinkopf said.

See our voter guide for when & where polls open and what’s on the ballot this year.

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