Latimer and Bowman square off in News 12 debate for Democratic nod in 16th Congressional District

Town hall debate will air on News 12 Westchester & News 12 the Bronx tonight at 8:30 p.m.

Jonathan Gordon, Tara Rosenblum and Lee Danuff

Apr 9, 2024, 3:44 PM

Updated 9 days ago


News 12 exclusively held the first debate between Rep. Jamaal Bowman and Westchester County Executive George Latimer as they seek the Democratic nod in New York's 16th Congressional district.
News 12's Tara Rosenblum moderated the debate. It was the first time Bowman and Latimer took the debate stage together on the campaign trail.
WATCH: Rep. Bowman and Westchester County Executive Latimer debate in race for 16th Congressional District [twitter][/twitter]
The pair sparred over the issues and their platforms in front of a packed live audience made up of district residents from lower Westchester and Co-op City in the Bronx.
The debate stage heated up at times.
News 12's Jonathan Gordon's coverage of the event
"He has neglected Yonkers, Mount Vernon and New Rochelle," said Bowman.
"Jamaal and 'The Squad' voted no, just like they voted no on issue after issue after issue," said Latimer.
Both candidates shared their platforms on several major issues, including the Middle East, despite several contentious moments.
"That there be a free Palestine is a hopeful sign, but it has to accept the fact that there is an Israel there as well," said Latimer.
"Going after Hamas in this way is not going to end the cycle of conflict that has been going on," said Bowman.
The pair fielded questions from the audience on other topics, including abortion access, public safety, immigration, infrastructure, hate at home and affordable housing.
"You need to fund the police, that's what I've done in Westchester County. We've fully funded the police and that is a factor in why violent crimes are down in Westchester County," said Latimer.
"Our communities have been historically neglected and as a result, we don't have the economic development, access and opportunity to the American dream," said Bowman.
Both men wrapped up the debate making a final pitch on why voters should back them.
"I come from the working class and I have served the people of this district directly," said Bowman.
"I've devoted my whole life to public service, to public policy, to substance," said Latimer.
Voters will head to the polls for primary day on Tuesday, June 25.
News 12's Ben Nandy was outside the debate to get the community's reaction
The hour-long program, organized in partnership with the Business Council of Westchester, is scheduled to air on News 12 Westchester and News 12 the Bronx on May 13 at 8:30 p.m. This debate marks a significant event in one of the nation's most consequential Democratic primaries, featuring questions directly from audience members.
The debate will air on News 12, channel 12 on select local cable TV lineups, as well as on the News 12 app on Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV. It will also be available live on News 12’s regional OTT channel, News 12 New York.

More from News 12