Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., is at a campaign stop in...

Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., is at a campaign stop in White Plains, New York, on June 11, 2024. The war between Israel and Hamas is roiling a primary election between two Democrats in New York, testing the party's position on the conflict and the larger split between its progressive and centrist wings. Credit: AP/Ted Shaffrey

WASHINGTON — Tensions within the Democratic Party about President Joe Biden’s handling of the Israel-Hamas war are playing out in a key New York primary race on Tuesday.

Rep. Jamaal Bowman faces Westchester County Executive George Latimer in Tuesday's highly contentious Democratic primary in New York’s 16th Congressional District. This is a safe Democratic district, but it encapsulates the fissures that have emerged within the party.

The race headlines a ballot that includes six primaries for the U.S. House, plus races for state Senate, state Assembly and county district attorney.

The ugly primary in the 16th District has exposed the party’s deep divide over U.S. policy on Israel, with current and former members of the New York congressional delegation sniping at each other and both candidates here seeking to paint the other as out of touch with and unfit for the district.

Bowman, allied with the progressive group of representatives known as the “squad,” represents the left’s opposition to Israel’s conduct during the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza and to the Biden administration’s support for Israel. Latimer is running on a more centrist, establishment position: His platform affirms Israel’s “rights of existence, stability, self-defense, and peace.”

The race has already seen eyebrow-raising spending in New York City’s expensive media market. The two candidates have spent $3.2 million apiece in the race, according to campaign finance filings. Outside spending has injected an additional $14.4 million into the district, with the United Democracy Project -- the super PAC associated with the pro-Israel American Israel Public Affairs Committee -- leading these groups with $11.5 million in support of Latimer.

Bowman has been endorsed by his fellow members of the “squad” and Democratic House leadership. Latimer has been endorsed by former Democratic presidential nominee and Westchester resident Hillary Clinton (though she lives in Chappaqua, which falls in the 17th District), local mayors and council members, and multiple Westchester County legislators.

The winner of the Democratic primary of the 16th congressional district is favored to win the seat in November.

In the 1st Congressional District, Democrats Nancy Goroff and John Avlon are competing for the nomination to face Republican Rep. Nick LaLota, who represents a district that Biden narrowly carried in 2020. Goroff previously led the chemistry department and taught at Stony Brook University. In 2020, Goroff was the Democratic nominee and lost to Republican Lee Zeldin.

Avlon is a former CNN anchor who helped create No Labels, a centrist political group. Goroff boosted her fundraising advantage with a $1.2 million personal loan to her campaign. As of their latest filings, Goroff's campaign had spent $1.7 million on the race while Avlon's campaign had spent $1.2 million. However, a PAC backing Avlon is spending $1.4 million on the race, according to data from AdImpact.

In the 22nd Congressional District, based in Syracuse, Democratic voters will choose between Air Force Veteran Sarah Klee Hood and former public school teacher John Mannion. Klee Hood leads in fundraising and has backing from VoteVets, a progressive group that supports veterans running for office. Mannion represents part of the district – stretching from Syracuse suburbs to Lake Ontario – in the state Senate.

Several Democratic House incumbents are facing under-funded primary challengers in races that are not expected to be competitive. Rep. Claudia Tenney is the only House Republican facing a challenge in Tuesday’s primary, though her challenger, Mike Fratto, trails in fundraising, too.

Albany County District Attorney David Soares faces a rematch of his 2012 race against attorney Lee Kindlon. Soares is running on a tough-on-crime message, while Kindlon, an attorney, accuses the incumbent of financial scandals. Kindlon is spending roughly $9,300 on advertising in the primary, according to data from AdImpact, while Soares is spending $4,000. Soares first won the Albany County District Attorney seat in 2004, and won his last primary election in 2020 with 56%, or 18,674 votes.

Here’s a look at what to expect on Tuesday:

PRIMARY DAY

The primary will be held on Tuesday. Polls close at 9 p.m. ET.

WHAT’S ON THE BALLOT

The Associated Press will provide coverage for 46 contested races, including U.S. House, state legislature, and county district attorney.

WHO GETS TO VOTE

New York has a closed primary system, which means that only voters registered with a political party may participate in that party’s primary.

DECISION NOTES

The 16th District includes parts of two counties: northern reaches in Bronx County and southern Westchester County. After redistricting, around 90% of the district’s residents live in Westchester.

These district lines work in favor of Latimer, who has spent more than three decades in state and local government in Westchester. Bowman, who has represented this district since 2021, was elected from a version of this district that included a much larger piece of the Bronx.

Latimer and Bowman have tried to pitch themselves to two different pieces of the Democratic Party base. Bowman has emphasized his support among working-class people of color, who tend to live in denser parts of the district closer to New York City, such as the Bronx, Yonkers (where his campaign is headquartered), Port Chester and Mount Vernon. Latimer, who hails from Rye, has sought to forge connections among suburban voters and the district’s Jewish electorate.

One of the key factors in the primary will be turnout in the Bronx and Yonkers, where Bowman is likely to perform better than in Westchester. One area to look at is Co-Op City, which has more than 47,000 residents and is the largest housing cooperative in the United States.

Latimer’s path to victory runs along the New Haven and Harlem Metro-North train lines, which pass through wealthy suburbs like Pelham Manor, Scarsdale, Larchmont and Rye, among others.

New York is not particularly fast at counting its votes. Additionally, mail ballots can arrive up to a week after election day, provided they are postmarked by election day. Late-arriving ballots could delay a race in a close contest.

The AP does not make projections and will declare a winner only when it’s determined there is no scenario that would allow the trailing candidates to close the gap. If a race has not been called, the AP will continue to cover any newsworthy developments, such as candidate concessions or declarations of victory. In doing so, the AP will make clear that it has not yet declared a winner and explain why.

In New York, recounts are automatic if the margin between the winning and losing candidates is within 20 votes or not more than 0.5% of the total vote. The AP may declare a winner in a race that is eligible for a recount if it can determine the lead is too large for a recount or legal challenge to change the outcome.

WHAT DO TURNOUT AND ADVANCE VOTE LOOK LIKE?

As of Feb. 27, there were 13,108,347 registered voters in New York. Of those, 49% were Democrats and 22% were Republicans.

In the 2022 race for governor, turnout was 7% of registered voters in the Democratic primary and 3% in the Republican primary. About 20% of votes in that election were cast before Election Day.

As of June 18, a total of 44,204 ballots had been cast.

HOW LONG DOES VOTE-COUNTING USUALLY TAKE?

In the 2022 Republican primary election, the AP first reported results at 9: 04 p.m. ET, or four minutes after polls closed. The election night tabulation ended at 2:51 a.m. ET with about 96% of total votes counted.

Get the latest news and more great videos at NewsdayTV Credit: Newsday

Police ID victims in small plane crash ... What's next for Kamala Harris? . . . St. Rocco's preview . . . Get the latest news and more great videos at NewsdayTV

Get the latest news and more great videos at NewsdayTV Credit: Newsday

Police ID victims in small plane crash ... What's next for Kamala Harris? . . . St. Rocco's preview . . . Get the latest news and more great videos at NewsdayTV

YOU'VE BEEN SELECTED

FOR OUR BEST OFFER ONLY 25¢ for 5 months

Unlimited Digital Access.

cancel anytime.