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Westchester County Executive George Latimer announces campaign against Congressman Jamaal Bowman

NEW YORK — Westchester County Executive George Latimer formally launched his campaign Wednesday to challenge Congressman Jamaal Bowman in a Democratic Primary next year.

Mount Vernon, Westchester County, is a rich source of Democratic Primary voters, and it’s soon to be a battleground between Bowman and Latimer.

“It’s gonna be a hard choice for a lot of people, especially in Mount Vernon,” said former Mount Vernon mayor Andre Wallace.

Wallace says this will be a blockbuster matchup.

Bowman is the first African American to represent the district in Congress and has an unusually high profile for a relative Congressional newcomer.

“Young kids in our community want to look up and they want to see somebody that looks like them so they can say, hey, I want to achieve that,” Wallace said.

Latimer is a Mount Vernon native who played a key role in resolving a long dispute over Memorial Field.

“Everything that he’s promised to deliver, he delivered,” Wallace said.

Latimer announced his run days after a trip to Israel.

Many Jewish groups urged him to Primary Bowman, unhappy that Bowman is pressuring Israel to call a cease-fire and boycotted Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s speech to Congress.

“Even if you disagree with the policy, you still sit and listen to the president of Israel when he comes, as a matter of respect,” Latimer said.

A spokesperson for Bowman’s campaign said in a statement:

“Congressman Bowman’s focus remains first and foremost on delivering for the people of his district and standing up to powerful special interests in Congress. It’s not a surprise that a super PAC that routinely targets Black members of Congress with primary challenges, and is funded by the same Republican mega-donors who give millions to election-denying Republicans including Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis, and Ted Cruz, has recruited a candidate for this race. We will continue to fight and deliver what the people of New York’s 16th District are demanding, like affordable housing, child care, climate action, jobs, education, healthcare, and defeating antisemitism, Islamophobia, and racism.”

Latimer told CBS New York’s Tony Aiello he sees Bowman as someone good at getting attention, less so in achieving results.

“Arguing with somebody across the aisle on the steps of a government building gets attention, but it doesn’t solve the fundamental problem, which is what results are you delivering,” Latimer said.

The 16th District is comprised of southern Westchester and a sliver of the Bronx.

Latimer has held state and local office for 30 years and never lost an election. Insiders say he has a good chance to win what will certainly be a very expensive Primary.