Back in May, County Executive George Latimer said he got calls “from different constituencies who were unhappy with the incumbent.” The callers were referring to Congressman Jamaal Bowman, who is in his second term representing the 16th District, and they were wondering if Latimer would consider challenging him in a primary.
“I didn’t treat it with weight at the time,” said the County Executive during a phone conversation this week. “But then comes Oct. 7, and Mr. Bowman was one of 10 members of Congress who voted against a resolution standing for Israel. On Oct. 16, he put forth a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire, never mentioning Hamas or the hostages they’d taken.”
And those were not the first issues. Bowmann has been accused of sending antisemitic tweets and showing a lack of interest in working across the aisle, and he had proclaimed his “aim to govern from a Black radical perspective.” In late October, Bowman pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count for triggering a fire alarm as lawmakers were trying to pass a funding bill before a government shutdown deadline.
Latimer said he’s now motivated to “actively consider running.”
The 16th District includes southern Westchester and a small portion of the Bronx. Latimer said he might not do well in some of the communities, but he was “not afraid to take on a tough race.” He believes residents want a congressman who will work for change, as he has.
It’s worth noting that Latimer has never lost a race. After a 20-year career as a marketing executive, he was elected to the Rye City Council, then the Board of Legislators, and State Senate. He is in his second and final term as County Executive.
Latimer said it’s unlikely he’ll come to a final decision until next year’s proposed County budget, which he delivered to the Board of Legislators this week, is wrapped up in mid-December. Meanwhile, he was looking forward to traveling with a delegation of officials to Israel, right after Thanksgiving.