It's official: George Latimer throws hat in the ring against Jamaal Bowman for 16th Congressional District
Westchester County Executive George Latimer made it official and confirmed to News 12 his run for the 16th Congressional District.
Latimer spoke to News 12's Tara Rosenblum in his first formal interview as a candidate Tuesday evening, discussing his decision to force a Democratic primary challenge against two-term incumbent Rep. Jamaal Bowman, who represents lower Westchester and portions of the Bronx.
"It's about having a congressman that puts the district first," said Latimer.
Latimer's decision to run follows the urgent encouragement from many Jewish leaders who were disappointed with Bowman's heavy criticism of Israel following Oct. 7.
Bowman, a member of the liberal group of lawmakers known as "The Squad," has repeatedly called for a cease-fire and was among a handful of Democrats who opposed a bill supporting Israel after the terror attacks in which more than 200 people were taken hostage.
"Hamas needs to release hostages. If they can release hostages and step aside from their rhetoric about destroying Israel, then you have the basis for cease-fire," Latimer says.
Latimer said Israel is a concern, but it's not his only one.
"From our transportation policy to our housing policy to Black maternal health care, wage theft, you name it, we've done it here and negotiation for a two-state solution," Latimer says.
The matchup between Latimer and Bowman could be one of the highest profile primary showdowns in the nation.
Latimer likes his chances.
He's held local, state and county roles for more than three decades and never lost an election.
In response to Latimer's candidacy, Bowman's campaign issued a statement alleging Latimer's bid will be funded by super PACs and GOP mega-donors who have targeted other Black representatives. They added that Bowman's focus remains first and foremost on delivering for the people of his district.
"When I hear attacks like that, what it tells me is that it's coming from people who are outside the district. They have no idea what I've done in Westchester County," says Latimer
Martin Dolan, an investment banker from Dobbs Ferry, also says he wants to join the primary fight.
Dolan tells News 12 that his plans have not changed, and he plans to actively campaign for the seat.
MORE: Westchester County Executive George Latimer formally announces run for Congress against Rep. Bowman to News 12