George Latimer accuses Jamaal Bowman of ‘lies’ in ad suggesting NY Daily News endorsement in 16th District race

NEW YORK — Democratic congressional candidate George Latimer accused his opponent, incumbent Rep. Jamaal Bowman, of “lying” in a TV ad that suggests the New York Daily News gave him the newspaper’s endorsement, which it did not.

The Bowman ad in question attributes the statement “America needs brave leaders like Jamaal Bowman” to the Daily News — and while that statement appeared in an opinion piece in the paper, it was not issued by the paper’s editorial board.

“Bowman clearly feels that he can only win by twisting the facts and falsely attributing a statement to a major newspaper in a sad attempt to manipulate the electorate,” Latimer’s campaign said in a written statement Tuesday. “Using this tactic is not only unethical, but it’s also a clear attempt to deceive the public and exaggerate his support.”

The ad includes text that reads: “Paid for and approved by Jamaal Bowman for Congress.”

In a statement, the paper noted that it endorsed Latimer, not Bowman in the upcoming Democratic primary for the 16th Congressional District.

“Political ads that misrepresent newspaper endorsements are a disservice to democracy,” the Daily News’ statement said.

Bowman and Latimer, who serves as Westchester County executive, have been locked in a bitter primary battle for months with much of the debate centered on the war in Gaza and the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attacks which prompted it. Bowman has argued much of Latimer’s support amounts to undue influence from pro-Israel lobbyists and Republicans, while Latimer has maintained Bowman is out of touch with the congressional district he represents.

The two have also sparred over statements from Bowman that the Latimer camp and his surrogates have framed as fact-challenged, such as Bowman’s claim that he “co-wrote” President Joe Biden’s signature CHIPS and Science Act and claims he wouldn’t accept money from campaign donors tied to the real estate industry, corporate PACs or lobbyists.

The accusation that Bowman spread “lies,” however, is a considerable escalation and comes amid early voting and a week before the June 25 primary.

The statement Bowman’s campaign used in the TV ad came from a June 9 opinion piece penned by Naomi Klein, an associate professor of climate justice at the University of British Columbia. The title of the piece, which praises Bowman for his support of the Green New Deal, is “America needs brave leaders like Jamaal Bowman.”

The TV ad isn’t the first time Bowman’s campaign or his supporters have tried to portray the Daily News as giving him its backing in the race.

In an April 24 fundraising email, the lefty political group Our Revolution cited the Daily News as suggesting attacks against Bowman are racist. That view wasn’t put forth by the Daily News itself, but in a guest opinion column in the paper that was authored by Audrey Sasson, executive director of Jews For Racial & Economic Justice, and Sochie Nnaemeka, former director of the New York Working Families Party.

Bowman’s campaign did not immediately respond to questions about the ad and the email.