Squad member faces ouster from Congress as New York, Colorado and Utah hold primaries on Tuesday

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MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. — An increasingly contentious Democratic Party battle between a member of the far-left “Squad” in Congress and his more moderate challenger that spotlights the party’s deep divisions over the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza is taking center stage on Tuesday as New York, Colorado and Utah hold primaries.

And the race between two-term Rep. Jamaal Bowman and Westchester County executive George Latimer in New York’s 16th Congressional District, which covers southern Westchester County [in suburban New York City] and a small portion of The Bronx, is already in the record books as the most expensive congressional primary in the nation’s history.

But the contest could make more history as Bowman, a former middle school principal who four years ago ousted 16-term Rep. Eliot Engel in the Democrat primaries, now faces becoming the first member of the Squad, a progressive group of diverse House Democrats, to be ousted from Congress, and the first House member of either party to be defeated by a primary challenger this cycle.

Bowman, who’s been outspoken about his support for Palestinians amid the war in Gaza and has charged that Israel has committed genocide, has been targeted by roughly $14 million in spending by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the deep-pocketed pro-Israel group that is supporting Latimer.


Rep. Jamaal Bowman of New York is fighting for his political life in Tuesday's Democratic primary

Rep. Jamaal Bowman greets Sen. Bernie Sanders while he campaigns in the Bronx, New York City, on June 22, 2024. (REUTERS/Joy Malone)

Progressive rock stars Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York are supporting Bowman and teamed up with the besieged lawmaker at a rally Saturday in the Bronx. The event was anything but a PG-rated spectacle as Bowman repeatedly used profanities.

“We are going to show f—ing AIPAC the power of the motherf—ing South Bronx!” Bowman said at the rally, which was held outside the congressional district’s boundaries.


Speaking with reporters on Monday, Latimer called Bowman’s language “inappropriate.”

And Latimer emphasized that “during this campaign I’ve been called a lot of unkind things. I’ve opened up a weekly newspaper in this county and seen myself referred to as genocide George. I’ve had all sorts of claims lobbed at me.”

“I think there’s been a lot of criticism lobbed at me by my opponent that’s unfair and inaccurate,” Latimer argued, “But I don’t think I get it right to use my temper. I don’t think I get the right to curse in public and carry on in a certain way.”

Rep. Jamaal Bowman of New York is facing the prospect of being ousted in Tuesday Democratic primary by challenger George Latimer, the Westchester County executive.

Westchester County executive George Latimer, who is challenging Democrat Rep. Jamaal Bowman in New York’s 16th Congressional District primary, speaks after being endorsed by local clergy leaders on June 24, 2024, in Mount Vernon, N.Y. (Fox News – Paul Steinhauser)

While the Israel-Hamas war is a top issue in the primary, it’s not the only one at play.

Bowman, who’s grabbed plenty of attention during his four years in Congress for his verbal warfare with Republicans and for pulling a fire alarm in a House office building last year during a vote over government funding, is also getting hit for voting against President Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure bill and against raising the debt limit.

While knocking off an incumbent is extremely difficult – and has yet to be accomplished by a challenger so far this cycle – Latimer, who is a former state senator, is well known in the district.

He’s been endorsed by local mayors and council members, multiple Westchester County legislators, and by former Secretary of State and former Sen. Hillary Clinton. The 2016 Democratic presidential nominee lives close to the district in northern Westchester County.

He spoke with reporters on Monday at an event where he was endorsed by more than a half dozen diverse clergy leaders from the congressional district.

The ads on behalf of Latimer are also a factor. A record $25 million has been spent by outside groups and the two campaigns to run ads in the district, which is located in New York’s pricey media market, according to Adimpact, a well-known national ad tracking firm.

While the Democrat primary between Bowman and Latimer will grab the most attention in Tuesday’s primaries, it’s far from the only contest worth watching.

John Avlon, a former Fox News analyst and one of the founders of the No Labels political organization who later went on to work as an anchor for CNN, is running against former Stony Brook University chemistry professor Nancy Goroff in the Democrat primary in New York’s 1st Congressional District on the eastern end of Long Island, which was won by President Biden in 2020. The winner will face off in November with Republican Rep. Nick LaLota.

In Colorado, seven Republicans are running in the state’s competitive 3rd Congressional District in the race to succeed GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert, who decided to run this year in the more Republican-friendly 4th Congressional District after nearly losing in 2022. 

Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., leaves the U.S. Capitol

Rep. Lauren Boebert (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images)

Boebert is favored to win the seat in the fourth district, which was left vacant after GOP Rep. Ken Buck retired from Congress.

In Utah, the battle to succeed retiring Republican Sen. Mitt Romney is taking center stage.


Romney, a former Massachusetts governor and the GOP’s 2012 presidential nominee, is a vocal Republican critic of former President Trump, the party’s 2024 presumptive nominee.

Republican Utah Sen. Mitt Romney

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, speaks to the media about not running for a second term in his office in the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 13, 2023. (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images)

Trump is backing Riverton, Utah, Mayor Trent Staggs, who also has the backing of the Utah GOP after winning the most votes in April’s state party convention.

But Rep. John Curtis, a former Democrat and environmental activist who voted to accept Biden’s victory in the 2020 election, enjoys a solid fundraising lead over Staggs.

Republican Gov. Spencer Cox of Utah, another major GOP Trump critic, is facing a primary challenge from Phil Lyman, another 2020 election denier who easily won the state party convention. But Trump to date has remained neutral and hasn’t endorsed Lyman.

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub.

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