A day before in-person voting began for state primary elections, the New York Times on Friday endorsed Jamaal Bowman, the progressive challenger to 16-term Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel, who represents New York's 16th Congressional District.
The editorial board's decision followed other major endorsements Bowman has picked up in recent weeks, including from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who represents the nearby 14th Congressional District.
If Bowman wins this primary, his victory could be compared to that of Ocasio-Cortez in 2018, when she ousted another longtime Democratic congressman. Along with Bowman, the Times endorsed Ocasio-Cortez and other New York candidates.
Our campaign has been endorsed by The New York Times.
This would not have been possible without all of your support.
— Jamaal Bowman (@JamaalBowmanNY) June 12, 2020
Although not all of the Times endorsements were for political newcomers or candidates who haven't yet held a seat in the U.S. House or Senate, the endorsement piece is titled, "New York Voters Can Send Some Promising New Faces to Congress."
"At a time when millions of voices are calling out for peaceful change, New Yorkers can make an immediate difference with this year's primary elections," the board wrote. "The nation badly needs new faces, new energy, new talent, and new ideas."
As "an educator for more than 20 years and a fierce advocate for public schools" who "helped found a public middle school in the Bronx, the Cornerstone Academy for Social Action," Bowman is one of those candidates, according to the Times.
Engel's "connections to the district seem to have frayed," the board wrote—noting he was caught on a hot mic saying, "If I didn't have a primary I wouldn't care," while trying to speak at a recent Black Lives Matter event.
Bowman, by contrast, "promises to work for all of the district, including sections he says have been neglected during Mr. Engel's time in Congress," the board wrote. They added:
Mr. Bowman says he wants to see the United States adopt a kind of Marshall Plan for climate change, jobs, housing, and education. "We need political imagination," he said. In a district that needs new energy, Mr. Bowman will bring it.
The endorsement was welcomed by Justice Democrats, which is also supporting Bowman's campaign. "This is huge!" the group declared in a Friday night fundraising email. "The New York Times' endorsement is proof of Jamaal's momentum and the growing enthusiasm for his campaign."
"There's a reason Jamaal has earned all of these endorsements," Justice Democrats added, noting that he is also backed by Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez. "Jamaal Bowman is a transformative leader who will serve the people in New York's 16th District."
While absentee ballot voting for New Yorkers kicked off before the Times endorsement, in-person voting in the state runs from June 13 to June 23.