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Bowman fights for survival as Maloy, Tenney also face primaries

Democrat and two Republicans all being challenged from the right

Rep. Jamaal Bowman faces a well-funded challenger in New York’s 16th District Democratic primary Tuesday.
Rep. Jamaal Bowman faces a well-funded challenger in New York’s 16th District Democratic primary Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Progressive “Squad” member Jamaal Bowman is the most vulnerable House member on the ballot, but a pair of Republicans are also battling for nominations in primaries Tuesday in New York and Utah.

Bowman is fighting for his political life in New York’s 16th District Democratic primary against George Latimer, the Westchester County executive and longtime local politician. 

Bowman, who is in his second term in the House, has faced nearly $10 million in attacks from the United Democracy Project, the independent expenditure arm of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. The group has also spent $4.7 million to boost Latimer. 

Polls have shown Bowman trailing Latimer in a contest that has spotlighted race, as well as the party’s ranging positions on Israel. 

Latimer outraised Bowman, taking in $5.8 million as of June 5, when he had $2.5 million on hand. Bowman raised $4.3 million and had $1 million on hand as of June 5. 

In addition to the United Democracy Project, several other groups have also invested in the race. Democratic Majority for Israel PAC spent $948,000 to oppose Bowman and boost Latimer. Fairshake, a super PAC with ties to the crypto industry, spent $2 million opposing Bowman. 

Progressive groups stepped in to help Bowman, although their combined spending is still dwarfed by the millions spent to attack him. The groups, which include Justice Democrats PAC, the Working Families Party National PAC and the Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC, spent $1.8 million to support Bowman and $915,000 opposing Latimer. 

Bowman was first elected in 2020, defeating longtime Rep. Eliot L. Engel in a Democratic primary. Engel is among the Democrats who have endorsed Latimer this year.

The winner of Tuesday’s primary is likely to be the district’s next representative. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race as Solid Democratic. 

Conservative challenges Maloy’s bid for full term

In Utah, Rep. Celeste Maloy won a special election in November to fill the unexpired term of former Republican Rep. Chris Stewart, her onetime boss who stepped down last year.

But Maloy has run into opposition from fellow Republican Colby Jenkins in her quest for a full term in the solid-red 2nd District. Jenkins, a retired Army colonel and Green Beret, received the backing of Republicans at the party convention in April, but Maloy netted enough support to qualify for the primary.

Maloy was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, who in a post on Truth Social called her “a great advocate for the wonderful people of Utah’s 2nd Congressional District!” She has the support of fellow Utah Republican Reps. Burgess Owens, Blake D. Moore and John Curtis. 

Utah Republican Rep. Celeste Maloy won a special election in November but faced opposition in a party convention this year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Mike Lee is backing Jenkins after tangling with Maloy over a bill to reauthorize Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Both Republicans supported inserting a provision into the law that would have required the government to get a warrant before searching for the information of Americans. But when that effort failed, Maloy voted in favor of reauthorizing the law.

Maloy had more money in her campaign account ahead of the primary, with $167,000 on hand on June 5 to Jenkins’ $82,000. But outside groups have more than made up the difference, spending $462,000 to support Jenkins whereas $51,000 was spent to support Maloy.

Attorney takes on Tenney again

New York Rep. Claudia Tenney faces a primary challenge from attorney Mario Fratto, whom she previously defeated in a primary contest in 2022. 

Fratto has argued that Tenney isn’t conservative enough for the district. But Tenney is endorsed by Trump, whose support holds much sway in Republican primaries, and by anti-abortion groups such as Susan B. Anthony List.

Tenney also had a major cash advantage over Fratto. She raised $2 million as of June 5 and had $552,000 on hand, while Fratto raised $508,000, including $460,000 of his own money. He had $220,000 on hand for the final weeks of the campaign. 

In the 2022 Republican primary, Tenney won with 54 percent of the vote to Fratto’s 40 percent. A third candidate received 6 percent.

Tenney was first elected in 2016 but lost reelection to Democrat Anthony Brindisi in 2018. She narrowly defeated Brindisi in a 2020 rematch for the 22nd District. She moved to the 24th District ahead of the 2022 midterms after New York redrew its congressional map. The 24th District race is rated Solid Republican by Inside Elections.