Hillary Clinton has endorsed Rep. Eliot Engel for reelection — one of several moderate, establishment Democrats seeking to shore up support for the veteran congressman in his most competitive primary yet.
Engel is defending his Bronx and Westchester County seat against a progressive political newcomer, educator Jamaal Bowman, who’s backed by Sen. Bernie Sanders, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and the Working Families Party, among others.
Clinton’s nod Monday comes after recent Engel endorsements by his colleagues in House Democratic leadership, including Rep. Adam Schiff of California, Majority Whip Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, and Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries of New York.
Clinton’s endorsement was first reported by the New York Times.
Engel, a 31-year congressman, appears particularly vulnerable after a series of recent events favoring Bowman.
In his first public appearance after months away from his district at the peak of the coronavirus crisis, Engel was heard on a microphone asking for a turn to speak at a Bronx news conference on the protests against police brutality. “If I didn’t have a primary, I wouldn’t care,” he said twice.
Bowman, a former middle-school principal who on Sunday released his Reconstruction Agenda to reverse system racism, has out-raised Engel in recent months.
New federal filings showed Bowman pulled in nearly $431,000 in April and May compared to Engel’s $389,000. But Engel, chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, still has more than twice as much cash-on-hand as his challenger.
Bowman’s campaign said Monday that he raised more than $750,000 in June from more than 25,000 donations.
Engel in a NY1 debate also touted endorsements from civil rights veteran Rep. John Lewis and State Sen. Jamaal Bailey, who introduced the bill to repeal 50-A, among other recently passed police reform measures in the New York state legislature.
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