Bowman and Latimer Face-Off In News 12 CD-16 Primary Debate


Congressman Bowman defends his seat against Latimer’s Undefeated Record and AIPAC’s Millions

News 12 exclusively held the first head-to-head debate between Democrats Rep. Jamaal Bowman (incumbent) and Westchester County Executive George Latimer, Monday, May 13th. News 12’s Tara Rosenblum moderated and occasionally doubled as referee at the heated debate full of many subliminal and unmistakable verbal jabs, hooks and uppercuts. The two sparred in White Plains in front of a packed live audience made of lower Westchester and Co-op City (Bronx) residents. The political bout went the distance despite both candidates frequently interrupting and talked over each other there was no stoppage, disqualification, technical foul, although Rosenblum almost had to deduct a point for candidates continuing to hit after the bell and once or twice attempting to hit below the belt.

The democratic primary candidates accused each other of colluding with Republicans and jabbed each other over their records, platform, campaign donors and their positions on the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza. The Israel-Hamas was also a headliner in this debate, and the funds sent to Israel. Latimer feels the hostages should be released and attacked Bowman for what he called an ‘Anti-Israel approach,’ Bowman clapped back that he unlike many politicians he visited Israel way before October 7th and responded that Hamas absolutely needs to be dealt with when asked as a follow up by Rosenblum. The war was the first and last question. Latimer called for a balanced view while Bowman stands on being one of the first to call for a permanent cease fire before it was popular to talk about it. Bowman interrupted Latimer telling him not to lie on him and Latimer snapped back, “you set the record for lying.”

Latimer was asked about taking money from AIPAC, while Bowman was asked to address his pulling the fire alarm by a resident from Rye. Other topics tacked were immigration and border security, pocket book issues like affordable housing, rising hate, protests over the war at college campuses, quality of life issues (crime and public safety) and infrastructure. Both candidates gave as good as they got. With most voters already picking a side, I do not think the debate did much to change minds to switch the candidate the support. Were any undecided voters moved? Time will tell.

The slugfest had all the fireworks of a highly anticipated heavy weight championship fight. I give it a draw. You have to decisively defeat or damn near knock out the champ to take the belt and I am not sure Latimer did enough last night to dethrone the champ. The candidates have already signed on for a rematch on June 5th, ten days before early voting begins. The candidate forum will take place in White Plains as well and will be sponsors by local branches of the NAACP including Mount Vernon, New Rochelle, Yonkers, Port Chester/Rye with the White Plains/Greenburgh branch taking the lead.

For all who missed the live debate you can see it in its entirety in the video below

AJ Woodson
AJ Woodson
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief and co-owner of Black Westchester, Host & Producer of the People Before Politics Radio Show, An Author, Journalism Fellow (Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism), Rap Artist - one third of the legendary underground rap group JVC FORCE known for the single Strong Island, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian, Documentarian, Activist, Criminal Justice Advocate and Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale,,, Rolling Out Newspaper, Daily Challenge Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine, Word Up! Magazine, On The Go Magazine and several others.


  1. Results not Rhetoric is Latimer’s campaign slogan.  I have three questions for the candidate
    1.     What does your results framework look like?
    2.     How have you measured results in the lives of Westchester’s Bottom Stuck?.
    3.     In “results terms” please tell us how those traditionally and systemically left out of the advantages and benefits of universal programs, benefitted from your leadership and advocacy?


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