News & Politics

District Council 37 endorses Rep. Jamaal Bowman

He has also been endorsed by 1199SEIU and the New York State Nurses Association.

Rep. Jamaal Bowman speaks at an anti-AIPAC event on March 23, 2024.

Rep. Jamaal Bowman speaks at an anti-AIPAC event on March 23, 2024. Selcuk Acar/Anadolu via Getty Images

District Council 37 will endorse Rep. Jamaal Bowman on Monday, the influential labor union confirmed to City & State. It’s the latest sign of labor support coalescing around Bowman, a progressive incumbent facing a strong primary challenge from Westchester County Executive George Latimer.

“In this pivotal moment for the labor movement, we need champions like Congressman Jamaal Bowman more than ever,” District Council 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido said in a statement. “His experience as a former public school principal and teacher informs his passionate advocacy for the rights of workers here and everywhere. With him in office, all DC 37 members have a friend and advocate who will stand in solidarity with us in fighting for what all workers deserve.”

DC 37, an affiliate of the AFSCME public employees union, represents more than 125,000 city employees and 50,000 retirees. The union did not originally endorse Bowman when he ran against then-Rep. Eliot Engel in 2020, but it did endorse his reelection in 2022.

“I am honored to once again earn DC 37’s endorsement,” Bowman said in a statement. “I know better than most the irreplaceable role our government workers play in creating an environment where New Yorkers can not only live, but thrive. I have been fighting for the working class every day before and since I was elected to office, and I look forward to continuing the good work hand-in-hand with the unions as we build a society that centers solidarity and economic justice for all.”

Both Bowman and Latimer have attracted significant labor endorsements. In addition to DC 37, Bowman has won the support of powerful health care unions 1199SEIU, New York State Nurses Association and National Nurses United. Latimer has received endorsements from the Civil Service Employees Association, Transport Workers Union Local 100, Laborers International Union of North America and the Mason Tenders’ District Council.

Bowman’s strongest support comes from the progressive wing of the party – some of his earliest endorsers were the Working Families Party and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – but he has also been able to secure some support from the Democratic establishment as an incumbent member of Congress. Last week, Bowman received an endorsement from House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries and Reps. Katherine Clark and Pete Aguilar, the three highest-ranking Democrats in the House. He also has the support of the Congressional Black Caucus PAC and Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC.

A central issue in the 16th Congressional District campaign is the United States’ relationship with Israel; Bowman has called for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza and called Israel’s invasion of Gaza a “genocide.” Last week, Latimer was endorsed by the Jewish Democratic Council of America – the first time that the pro-Israel Democratic group endorsed the challenger to a Democratic incumbent. Latimer’s campaign is also backed by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which has become a political lightning rod. Latimer’s endorsers aren’t limited to pro-Israel PACs; the county executive has also received endorsements from no fewer than 11 local Democratic committees in Westchester County.