CM Stevens, 12 other council members endorse incumbent Bowman in Bronx/Westchester congressional race

Council Member Stevens speaks at the rally protesting against Mayor Adams’ decision to cut education budgets citywide on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2024.
Photo Emily Swanson

Bronx Council Member Althea Stevens joined 12 colleagues in announcing their endorsement of incumbent Rep. Jamaal Bowman for the District 16 U.S. Congressional seat, where he currently represents a small section of the north Bronx and parts of Westchester County. Bowman, who was elected in 2020, is the first Black person to hold the seat. 

With the primary election coming in 10 days, Bowman’s race against Westchester County Executive George Latimer has become one of the most-watched races in the country.

Voters face a stark choice between Bowman, a Black progressive, and Latimer, a white moderate Democrat.

Stevens told the Bronx Times that Bowman supported her as a City Council candidate and that she is pleased to back him in this race. 

Stevens said she is “so aligned” with Bowman on many issues, especially education. Bowman is a former public school principal, and Stevens chairs the council’s Committee on Children and Youth. She said Bowman is “always championing young people” and that she wants officials at the federal level to share that priority. 

Stevens praised Bowman’s tenacity, outspokenness, and passion. “We need fighters in Congress right now … to lead with courage,” she said. 

Congressman Jamaal Bowman, Working Families Party and Powerful Progressive Coalition rallied together in the Bronx on May 26.Photo Michael Paulson

In addition to the backing from Stevens, Bowman received endorsements from City Council Members Lincoln Restler, Alexa Aviles, Rita Joseph, Shahana Hanif, Sandy Nurse, Jennifer Gutiérrez, Crystal Hudson and Chi Ossé, all representing Brooklyn; Manhattan Council Member Carmen De La Rosa; and Queens Council Members Tiffany Cabán and Julie Won. Bowman also secured the support of Bronx Council Member Kevin C. Riley months ago, according to a campaign spokesperson. 

“From his days as a principal in the Bronx to becoming a champion for working families in Congress, Jamaal Bowman has never stopped fighting for and delivering a more just society for all of us,” Restler said in a statement. 

A poll released this week of 425 likely Democratic primary voters showed Bowman trailing with 31% support, compared to Latimer at 48%. 21% of respondents said they were undecided in the survey by Emerson College/PIX11/The Hill.

The poll also showed that Bowman was more popular among Black and voters under age 40, whereas white and older voters broke for Latimer, and Hispanic voters split evenly between the candidates.

In terms of Bronx support, Bowman is endorsed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, perhaps the most high-profile elected official in the borough, who is a member along with Bowman of the progressive group in Congress known as “The Squad.” His campaign website also shows endorsement from Bronx State Senator Jamal Bailey. 

Meanwhile, Latimer is endorsed by Assembly Member Jeff Dinowitz, who represents the Riverdale and Kingsbridge sections of the Bronx. 

Westchester County Executive George LatimerPhoto courtesy Latimer for Congress

In a recent unexpected turn, Bowman missed out on the support of former Rep. Mondaire Jones, a fellow Black progressive who was elected at the same time as Bowman and served one term. Jones, who is running for a return to the District 17 seat, stirred up shock and anger on the political left with his endorsement of Latimer. Jones mainly cited disagreement with Bowman’s stance on the Israel-Hamas war.

The Israel-Hamas war is one of many contentious issues between Latimer and Bowman.

In a televised debate this week, Bowman said that the U.S. should not supply any more weapons to the Israeli military, which he said is “engaged in collective punishment” against Palestinians. Latimer said the issue was not so simple and that “what [Hamas] did that day on Oct. 7 triggered everything that has followed after.”

Another contentious point of discussion mentioned in the debate was how to decrease the gap between the rich and poor. Bowman said in the debate he strongly favors reparations — payments to African American communities to help make up for generational wealth lost due to slavery and discriminatory practices. While Latimer supports a study on reparations, he said the $14 trillion reparations bill co-sponsored by Bowman is “not a serious proposal” and accused Bowman of focusing too much on Black and brown constituents and ignoring others in the district. 

Early voting for the primary election begins Saturday, June 15, and election day is Tuesday, June 25. For more information on how, when and where to vote, see

Reach Emily Swanson at or (646) 717-0015. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bronxtimes