#Nancy Pelosi backs Rep. Engel after AOC endorses Democratic challenger
“Nancy Pelosi backs Rep. Engel after AOC endorses Democratic challenger”
June 5, 2020 | 11:46am
“I firmly support Eliot Engel for Congress and I support Alexandria for Congress as well,” Pelosi told reporters Thursday. “I think the people of New York are very blessed to have them both in the Congress.”
On Wednesday, the Bronx-Queens congresswoman, who goes by her initials AOC on social media, used a series of tweets to announce she was endorsing Bowman, 44, a former middle school principal backed by the left-leaning Justice Democrats — meaning she was trying to oust Engel, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
The 73-year-old liberal represents a district from parts of The Bronx and Westchester, next door to Ocasio-Cortez’s home base.
“This moment requires renewed and revitalized leadership across the country AND at the ballot box,” Ocasio-Cortez, 30, said in a tweet.
She called Bowman, who is black, “a profound community leader.” Engel’s district has mostly black and Hispanic voters.
Engel was embroiled in controversy this week when he was overheard on a hot mic saying he didn’t really care about the looting rocking his constituents.
During a press conference with local leaders and elected officials, he asked Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. if he could make some remarks at the microphone.
When Diaz Jr. said there were too many people on the list, Engel mumbled through his face mask: “If I didn’t have a primary, I wouldn’t care.”
“What was that?” Diaz Jr. asked him, according to the audio captured on a News 12 live feed of the event and shared on Twitter by NY1 reporter Emily Ngo.
“If I didn’t have a primary, I wouldn’t care,” he repeated.
“Don’t do that to me,” Diaz Jr. scolded him.
Political pundits fear Engel is setting himself up to be the next Joe Crowley, the longtime powerful incumbent whom AOC defeated in a stunning 2018 upset in the adjoining district.
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