Longtime Rep. Eliot Engel conceded last month's Democratic primary to first-time candidate Jamaal Bowman on Friday, likely ending a career in Washington that began in more than 30 years ago.
"The numbers are clear, and I will not be the Democratic nominee for the 16th Congressional District seat in the fall election," Engel said in a statement. "I wish Mr. Bowman well as he begins this new chapter in his life."
Bowman received the backing of national progressive figures in the race for the district, which includes the Bronx and parts of Westchester County. His victory, paired with the likely win of Democrat Mondaire Jones in the neighboring 17th congressional district, are boons for progressives in suburban New York City.
The northern suburbs have trended increasingly Democratic over the years and are considered key for victories in statewide elections.
“Jamaal won decisively up and down the district — from predominantly white suburbs to the heart of the Black and brown working class Bronx — with a clear and consistent message," said Working Families Party State Director Sochie Nnaemeka. "He said we must build a New York that works for all of us and center those who have been shut out. We know he will lead the same way he ran— with a transformative, movement rooted vision."
“We were proud to endorse and support Jamaal early and help build a national movement behind this Bronx educator, Westchester dad and community leader. Jamaal showed the country that the Bronx and Westchester are hungry for new progressive leaders who are rooted in their community and willing to confront the district’s deep racial and economic inequality.