Will Mail-in Ballots Change the Fate of Eliot Engel?

“Eliot Engel used to say he was a thorn in the side of (Republican President) Donald Trump,” Jamaal Bowman, the democratic challenger to Rep. Eliot Engel, told supporters on Tuesday. “But you know what Donald Trump is more afraid of than anything else? A Black man with power. That is what Donald Trump is afraid of,” Bowman added.

As of early Wednesday morning, Bowman, 44, was leading Engel, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, by 59.48 percent to 35.31 percent, the New York state elections board said, with 627 of 732 election precincts reporting. New York counties didn’t release any mail ballot data Tuesday, which could account for more than half the vote. Counties have until July 1 to start releasing the results of mail ballots.

“If the results continue to bear out, and we get to Congress, it will be our job to hold Donald Trump accountable and to hold every politician accountable that continues to be beholden to corporate interests … and is not fighting for the poor and the working class in our country,” said Bowman in his primary night speech.

“AOC and Bowman are also decades younger than the people they want(ed) to replace (Bowman is 44, Engel is 73). And they framed their candidacies as part of larger movements to push the Democratic Party in a more progressive direction,” said The New York Times’ Azi Paybarah in a CNN digital interview.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., openly supported Bowman, the Rep. Eliot Engel’s primary challenger in early June. She called Bowman, who is African-American, “a profound community leader.”