Congressman Jamaal Bowman resoundingly defeated Westchester County legislators Vedat Gashi and Catherine Parker for the Democratic nomination for New York’s newly redrawn 16th Congressional district in Tuesday’s primary.
According to an unofficial tally posted on the Westchester Board of Election’s website, Rep. Bowman won the Democratic primary with 5,500 votes (51%). County Legislator Vedat Gashi who distributed campaign material that features a photo of Congressman Jamaal Bowman with what appears to be a noticeably darker skin tone came in second place with 2,816 votes (26%), Legislator Catherine Parker garnered 2,213 votes (21%) and Mark Jaffe – who dropped out the race got 169 vote (2%).
The newly redrawn 16th congressional district that had been shaped by redistricting that caused a significant number of Black residents to be drawn out of the district and cuts out part of the Bronx and adds more affluent Westchester communities.
Bowman – whom Black Westchester endorsed – says his record on education, climate change and housing make him a strong candidate, but he still has more to do, including universal child care and paid leave.
“Tonight, we proved to the world that if you lead with peace and with love, you win,” Bowman said Tuesday night at his watch party at Maggie Spillane in Mount Vernon. “Because when we got to D.C. two years ago — just days before the first attack on the Capitol since the War of 1812 — that is how we led. We introduced the Green New Deal for Public Schools to invest in young people. We brought back resources to support the elderly and children in our communities. We fought back against hate, racism, and anti-Semitism.”
“It’s not as much about whether you call yourself progressive or moderate or conservative. It’s more about how you show up and how you get the job done,” Bowman added.
Bowman said he believed voters were motivated by good leadership, not any particular faction or ideology within a party. “I know in my district, we continue to get a very high level of support because people believe and feel—and I agree with them—that we’ve been able to meet their needs over these last couple of years.”
Bowman is now one step closer to his second term but first must face Republican Dr. Miriam Flisser, the former mayor of Scarsdale, in November.