Empowerment fund claims Bowman is losing black support for being ‘out of touch and out of step

In the competitive Democratic primary for New York’s 16th Congressional District, the National Black Empowerment Action Fund (NBEAF), led⁣ by Darius Jones, has invested $500,000 to ⁣oppose incumbent Rep. Jamaal Bowman. Jones, a ‌former​ AIPAC African American constituency director, argues that Bowman’s political stances do not align with the interests of the district’s black voters. Instead of directly supporting Bowman’s main⁣ rival, Westchester County Executive George Latimer, the funds are designed to ​generally counter Bowman’s ‌re-election​ efforts.

Bowman, known for his progressive policies, has faced criticism for his stance on Israel and for controversial actions such as triggering a fire alarm in Capitol Hill. Recent polling indicates that Latimer is⁤ leading Bowman by a significant margin, and Bowman’s favorability‍ ratings are notably ⁣lower amongst black residents of ⁢the district, according to NBEAF’s⁢ findings. Despite‍ prior affiliations, Bowman’s connection with the Democratic ⁢Socialists of America has‌ also impacted his favorability negatively when highlighted ⁢to voters.


In an expensive and competitive Democratic primary for New York’s 16th Congressional District, a new organization is putting its pocketbook in the game.

National Black Empowerment Action Fund founder and AIPAC alumnus Darius Jones said he believes Rep. Jamaal Bowman’s (D-NY) political leanings do not accurately represent the black voters in his district. As a result, the fund has put in half a million dollars toward funding the opposition against Bowman.

“Our work at the National Black Empowerment Action Fund is twofold: to inform Black constituents about the legislation and priorities their members of Congress support, and to mobilize efforts to hold those members to common-sense policies,” Jones said in a statement to the Washington Examiner. “That’s why NBEAF is connecting with Black families in the Bronx and Westchester — to listen to their concerns and make sure they are amplified.”

Jones previously served as the national African American constituency director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which has backed Bowman’s opponent, Westchester County Executive George Latimer. The organization noted the donation was not a direct donation to Latimer but moreso to the opposition of Bowman.

Bowman’s district encompasses a small portion of the Bronx and Westchester County, which has a sizable Jewish population. Bowman has taken a particularly progressive stance supporting the Palestinian cause and opposing Israel in the wake of Hamas’s Oct. 7 attacks and the succeeding war. He previously called accusations that rape during the assault on Israel “propaganda,” which he later retracted after severe pushback.

Prior to Hamas’s attack on Israel, Bowman also threatened his credibility when he pulled a fire alarm in the Capitol Hill building when there was not an emergency. Some Republicans accused him of doing so to delay a vote on government funding, but he has said he thought it would allow him to open a door.

Latimer is putting up a strong fight against Bowman, with a June poll showing Latimer pulling ahead of Bowman by 17 points. The poll, conducted by PIX11, Emerson College, and the Hill, showed Latimer with support from 48% of those surveyed and Bowman with 31%. Twenty-one percent of those polled are undecided, however.

In terms of black residents in the district, however, Bowman’s favorability sinks even lower, according to a poll conducted by NBEAF obtained by the Washington Examiner. Bowman is performing poorly in terms of favorability among black residents and underperforms President Joe Biden by 19 points, according to the poll. Eighty-six percent of black residents in the district have a favorable view of Biden, but 67% had a favorable view of Bowman.

“Black residents in the Bronx and Westchester have expressed significant discontent with Congressman Jamaal Bowman’s record — which only grows the more they know,” Jones said. The poll did not provide numbers for a two-way race between Bowman and Latimer.

When those polled were told Bowman stands with the Democratic Socialists of America, his favorability dropped to 46%. Bowman recently made amends with the Democratic Socialists of America after he broke away from the group in the wake of Oct. 7.

“The reality is black people favor an agenda focused on jobs and the economy, public safety, the ability to choose a good public school, and good housing: in short, access to the American dream. And the congressman’s rhetoric and votes are out of touch and out of step,” Jones said.

The poll also found that Gaza was only a top-of-mind issue for a very slim amount of black voters, which Jones said highlights how Bowman is out of touch with his base. The trend stays the same nationwide, with only a small group rating the war as the most important issue to them.

When those polled were asked about the two issues they cared most about, 27% said jobs and economic development and 25% said crime and public safety. Only 3% said the conflict in Gaza was a top concern.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER

“National Black Empowerment Action Fund believes strongly in the importance of speaking truth to power, and that can involve speaking some uncomfortable truths. The truth is that the congressman’s policy positions are in direct contrast to what we want for our children’s education, for our community’s safety, and for our economic futures,” Jones said.

Bowman did not respond to the Washington Examiner’s request for comment.




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