Rep. Jamaal Bowman will face a primary challenge from Westchester County Legislator Vedat Gashi, who says the Democratic congressman’s virulently anti-Israel positions can be a serious concern within the race.
“I think the views he has taken … it’s a problem,” stated Gashi, a 43-year-old legal professional from Yorktown. “And it’s a problem for American national security.”
He pointed to Bowman’s resolution to withdraw his assist for laws selling the Abraham Accords, which noticed Israel normalize relations with plenty of their Arab neighbors.
Bowman had initially been a co-sponsor of the Israel Relations Normalization Act — however dropped his assist after redistricting eliminated closely Jewish Riverdale from his congressional district.
“The deals that this bill supports and seeks to pursue, have included deals at odds with human rights and safety for everyday people in the region,” Bowman stated in a letter to constituents explaining his resolution.
An open letter denouncing Bowman’s flip-flop has been signed by dozens of local rabbis.
Bowman may also face different primary opponents together with, Michael Gerald, a deputy commissioner on the Westchester County Department of Correction and pastor at Shiloh Church in Tuckahoe and Manuel Casanova, a New Rochelle businessman.
Before the redistricting, Bowman had been famous because the uncommon “Squad” member who made overtures to Israel. He was lauded by mainstream Dems for conferences with the Israeli consulate in New York and a visit to Israel the place he posed for a photograph with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.
Before the about-face, the Democratic Socialists of America — which endorses the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction marketing campaign towards Israel — sharply rebuked Bowman and he confronted calls to be expelled from the occasion.
Gashi — who known as himself a “Biden Democrat” — stated he plans to focus on Bowman votes that had been out of step with the district’s constituents, together with his vote towards President Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure invoice and a “present” vote on funding the D.C. capitol police.
Gashi added that he discovered Bowman’s embrace of the Democratic Socialists of America “offensive.”
“My family fled Kosovo, which was a socialist country, so we are not very fond of it,” he stated. He known as out the group for blaming the Russian invasion of Ukraine on American “imperialist expansion.”
Bowman, who rose to nationwide prominence after ousting longtime congressman Eliot Engel, shall be difficult to unseat, and at the moment has greater than $300,000 money readily available to push back Gashi, FEC filings show.
But the Yorktown pol stated he was undaunted and has been assembly native officers and has retained the Hamilton Campaign Network to assist handle his marketing campaign.