A coup d’état, commonly known as a coup, typically involves one organization’s overt attempt to seize control from another, often to overthrow an existing leadership. In this context, we’re observing the Republican Party’s maneuver to gain influence by funding George Latimer’s campaign against the incumbent Congressman Jamaal Bowman within the Westchester County Democratic Party. If this effort succeeds, it could imply a significant shift in the balance of power within the Westchester Democratic Party, and it would be facilitated by Democratic voters in NYCD16.
There are already reports from Black Westchester indicating that a member of the Young Israel Synagogue of New Rochelle sent out an email with a focus on defeating Congressman Jamaal Bowman in the Democratic primary in support of Israel. This email suggested that registered Republicans temporarily switch to Democrats to participate in the primary against Bowman.
This situation raises concerns about the integrity of the Democratic Party in Westchester, as some Democratic politicians may claim to be progressive while accepting substantial donations from GOP-funded organizations like AIPAC, which fund other racist Republicans and Donald Trump.
According to a Lohud report, the Teach Coalition plans to spend a substantial $1.6 million to remove Congressman Jamaal Bowman from his position. This organization operates in seven states and is actively involved in a campaign centered on Westchester County. The large budget allocated to this campaign, specifically targeting a Black representative like Jamaal Bowman, underscores the influence of financial interests in politics, often leaving Black and Brown communities underserved.
In addition, wealthy GOP donor Alex Dubitsky, a supporter of former President Trump, is hosting a fundraiser for Democrat George Latimer, who is challenging Rep. Jamaal Bowman in the Democratic primary. This fundraiser, where guests can pay up to $6,600 per person, has sparked controversy due to Dubitsky’s substantial donations to Trump and the Republican National Committee.
Furthermore, it’s worth noting that according to the Daily News Alex Dubitsky’s wife, Pamela Tillinghast Dubitsky, chairs the Westchester County Parks and Recreation Board and was appointed by Latimer in 2018. Despite Alex Dubitsky’s strong support for Republicans, his wife has donated to Democratic candidates in the past.
These developments prompt Democrats to question the true allegiance of their party. Is it genuinely progressive when it accepts Republican funding to challenge fellow Democrats? Moreover, there’s a concern that if this trend starts with George Latimer, it may continue, potentially leading to a takeover of the party by wealthy White Republican donors, while leaving Black and Brown voters feeling marginalized.
These new Republican Westchester Democrats would love to see Jamaal Bowman successfully unseated because it could establish a precedent that will be applied to other Black candidates in Westchester like Ken Jenkins. In the upcoming election for Westchester County Executive, these newly emerging Republican Democrats could employ a similar approach to challenge Jenkins, which will keep him from becoming the first Black County Executive.
It is crucial for Black people to actively engage with the political developments that affect their lives. Otherwise, the outcome may lead to limited gains for the community (represented by a “little w”), while wealthy white Republican donors reap substantial benefits (a “BIG W”) from the Democrat candidates that Black voters support, but who are financially supported by Republicans.