A New York congressional primary is breaking ad spending records, with Election Day now just around the corner.

So far, roughly $24 million has been spent on ads — including TV, radio, satellite and digital — in New York’s 16th District Democratic primary in which incumbent Rep. Jamaal Bowman faces a challenge from Westchester County Executive George Latimer, according to data compiled by the group AdImpact.

That outpaces the nearly $18 million spent in the 2022 primary contest in Oregon’s 6th District, which now ranks second. 

What You Need To Know

  • The primary in New York's 16th Congressional District between Jamaal Bowman and George Latimer is breaking ad spending records

  • The AIPAC-affiliated United Democracy Project superPAC is driving the spending, pouring $14 million into the contest to both boost Latimer and attack Bowman

  • In New York's 1st district, John Avlon is accusing Nancy Goroff of "buying" the primary by loaning her campaign $1.2 million. Goroff's team rejects that criticism, pointing to outside spending that is boosting Avlon

  • Election Day is Tuesday, June 25

Two other competitive Democratic primaries in New York are likewise seeing extensive — though by no means record-setting — fundraising and spending. 


The bitter 16th District primary matchup is drawing national attention, with Bowman, a member of the progressive "squad," staring down a possible ouster from Congress. 

The war between Israel and Hamas has become a central theme of the campaign. Bowman is an outspoken critic of the Israeli government’s handling of the conflict. Latimer has been outspoken in his support for Israel.

The AIPAC-affiliated United Democracy Project superPAC is driving the record-setting spending, pouring $14 million into the contest to both boost Latimer and attack Bowman, according to AdImpact. AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, lobbies for pro-Israel policies.

Progressive-leaning groups like Justice Democrats and the Working Families Party have also invested in the race, but their spending pales in comparison to the United Democracy Project.

Bowman has criticized AIPAC’s investments, saying during the Spectrum News debate, “The reason why our democracy doesn't work for working class people and the majority of the American people is because of big money in politics. [Latimer] is running a big money campaign … Their one issue is Israel. Not Mount Vernon, not the Bronx, not New Rochelle, not Port Chester, not White Plains, not Tuckahoe.”

Latimer labeled the invocation of AIPAC a “dog whistle” and said, “There's parts of this district that [Bowman] has flat out ignored, and those are the people that are donating to my campaign because they don't feel they have a congressman who represents them.”

According to Federal Election Commission filings, as of June 5, Bowman had raised $4.3 million this election cycle. Latimer raised $5.8 million.


In New York’s Suffolk County-rooted 1st Congressional District, John Avlon, a former CNN commentator, is facing off against Nancy Goroff, who was previously the Democratic nominee in the district four years ago. The winner will take on incumbent Republican Congressman Nick LaLota this fall.

Overall, $3.7 million has been spent on ads in this race, according to AdImpact.

So far this cycle, Avlon has raised $1.76 million, while Goroff has raised $1.05 million, according to FEC filings.

In the most recent fundraising quarter, which stretched from April 1 and June 5, Avlon raised $622,000Goroff brought in $126,000, and loaned her campaign about $1.2 million. 

Citing that loan, Avlon’s team is accusing Goroff of trying to buy the race. 

“All of Nancy Goroff’s money and attempts to buy this primary can’t change a simple fact: John Avlon is the only candidate creating real excitement and enthusiasm, has all the local support and is the only Democrat that can flip this seat and help the Democrats take back the majority,” Avlon campaign manager Bryan Sokolowski said in a statement.

Asked about the loan, Goroff’s campaign invoked the political action committee Welcome PAC, which is supporting Avlon, spending more than $1.5 million on ads and other outreach — by far the biggest outside spender in the race, according to data compiled by OpenSecrets.

In a statement, Goroff campaign manager Maggie Touchton said, “It's laughable for former Rudy Guiliani advisor John Avlon to make claims of bought elections when a dark money outside group funded by the Murdochs is literally spending over $1.5 million to buy this seat for him.” 


In the Syracuse area, state Sen. John Mannion and DeWitt Town Councilor Sarah Klee Hood are vying for the Democratic nomination to take on incumbent Republican Congressman Brandon Williams.

Overall, more than $2 million has been spent on ads in this primary, according to data compiled by AdImpact.

So far this election cycle, FEC filings show Mannion has brought in roughly $866,000, compared with $1.35 million raised by Klee Hood.

Eighty-nine percent of Mannion’s fundraising comes from within New York state, while only 41% of Klee Hood’s does, according to an analysis by OpenSecrets.

Mannion invoked that statistic at a recent Spectrum News debate, saying “the donations that I receive show that I have that local support, that people trust me.”