Politics

Squad members Cori Bush, Jamaal Bowman outraised by moderate Democrat challengers, as primary threats mount

Squad members Reps. Cori Bush, D-Mo., and Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., have both so far been out-raised by their more moderate Democrat challengers, as primary threats mount. 

Bush, a defund the police advocate under Justice Department investigation for shelling out tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign cash to a security firm, was just narrowly outraised by her primary challenger, attorney Wesley Bell. 

Bell earned $492,149 in donations, compared to the $487,000 Bush raised during the last quarter of 2023, according to the latest filings with the Federal Election Commission. 

‘Missouri’s 1st District deserves a representative who shows up, does the work and gets things done,’ Bell said in a statement to The Hill. ‘I’m honored by our fast-growing list of endorsements from community members and local officials, and energized by the incredible momentum of support driving our campaign.’

Bowman, who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor after pulling an office fire alarm in the House – allegedly to pause a vote during the government shutdown debate – raked in about $724,000 in the last quarter of 2023, according to the latest FEC filings. That compares to the $1.4 million raised by his opponent in New York’s 14th Congressional District, George Latimer. 

‘There is a fundamental weakness to Latimer’s fundraising,’ Bill Neidhardt, a spokesperson for Bowman’s re-election push, told The Hill. ‘His connection to Republican Trump mega donors.’

‘His money won’t go as far in a Democratic primary where the electorate wants to hold Donald Trump accountable,’ Neidhardt added. 

A Westchester County Executive who entered the race in early December, Latimer traveled to Israel in the wake of the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks to show support for the Jewish state and earned the endorsement from AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. 

Meanwhile, Bowman, who represents what is considered a safe blue seat, recently lost the endorsement of the progressive group J Street. 

An organization that claims to be pro-Israel but has faced criticism because of its support for positions that allegedly favor Iran’s regime and the Palestinians, J Street rescinded its endorsement of Bowman on Jan. 30, arguing that the progressive congressman ‘crossed a line’ in calling for a cease-fire and describing Israel’s military campaign in Gaza as a ‘genocide.’ 

Other Squad members, Reps. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., continue to rake in donations. 

Despite their fundraising setbacks and controversial anti-Israel remarks, Bush and Bowman are still considered tough – and likely costly – to beat as progressive incumbents. Their defeat, however, would signal a shift more toward the center of the Democratic Party in Congress. 

‘It’s a very small group to begin with,’ Mark Mellman, a veteran Democratic pollster and leader of the Democratic Majority for Israel, told The Hill of members of Congress considered part of the progressive Squad. ‘It would be good for the party and good for the country if it got smaller.’

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