Congressman Eliot Engel is on the defensive in the final days of his primary fight against insurgent Jamaal Bowman.
Establishment Democrats from Governor Cuomo to Hillary Clinton to Senator Chuck Schumer have endorsed and closed ranks around Engel.
A political action committee has spent big on attack ads criticizing Bowman over unpaid taxes.
“Shouldn’t Mr. Bowman pay off his own taxes before he tries to spend ours?” the ad asks.
Senator Bernie Sanders, who endorsed Bowman, called the ads “ugly.”
Bowman’s campaign said he’s paid off those debts.
Engel’s campaign noted it can’t coordinate with the PAC. It called for the ads to be taken down.
“I didn’t know about that ad until I saw it," Engel told NY1.
Engel, seeking a 17th term, attended Juneteenth events Friday at both ends of his Bronx and Westchester district.
Bowman, an educator endorsed also by Senator Elizabeth Warren and House Member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is criss-crossing the district all weekend ahead of Tuesday’s primary.
His campaign said Friday it has raised $2 million, $1 million of which came this month.
Filings by Engel's campaign showed it had raised $2 million as of June 3rd.
“We feel incredibly confident," Bowman told NY1.
“I’m feeling confident," Engel said.
Echoing a message spread in his campaign mailers, Engel said he takes issue with Bowman registering as a Democrat only in recent years.
He blasted Bowman for not voting for Barack Obama in every election.
Bowman said he voted for Obama in the general elections, though not in the primaries.
“When you don’t vote in an election like that, you show that you’re not really a Democrat and you’re not really taking it seriously," Engel said. "And so that’s me just pointing it out. He’s pointing out things that he thinks I’ve done wrong and I’m happy to return the favor.”
Bowman sought to shrug off the multiple lines of attack.
“We don’t need to go on the attack and be negative," he said. "This is the politics of love, this is the politics of bringing people together and connection and for us it’s all about deep relationships.”
Bowman’s campaign cites a Data for Progress poll that shows him 10 points ahead of Engel.
Engel’s campaign cites internal polling that shows him eight points ahead of Bowman.