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Sanders endorses challenger in Democratic primary vs Engel

June 9, 2020 GMT

NEW YORK (AP) — Sen. Bernie Sanders announced his support Tuesday for challenger Jamaal Bowman against veteran Rep. Eliot Engel in the Democratic primary for New York’s 16th Congressional District.

The endorsement from the Vermont independent and former presidential candidate comes just days after Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also announced her support for Bowman, a 44-year-old educator.

“Jamaal understands that low-income families are locked out of opportunity and a decent life due to a system that is rigged to benefit the wealthy,” Sanders said in a statement announcing his support. “In Congress he will lead the fight for investing in our public schools, ending mass incarceration, and addressing the housing crisis. He is someone we can trust to be a powerful advocate for a progressive agenda in Congress.”

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Engel, 73, has been in the House of Representatives for 16 terms and is the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Bowman said he was “deeply honored” by Sanders’ endorsement, and said, “Bernie is not just a leader of our party, but the leader of a movement.”

Bowman was most recently the principal at a public middle school he started in the Bronx in 2009, the Cornerstone Academy for Social Action.

The 16th Congressional District covers parts of the Bronx and Westchester.