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A fundraiser for Westchester County Executive George Latimer, who is running against Rep. Jamaal Bowman in the Democratic primary, was co-hosted by a convicted bank fraudster named Michael S. Wachs. Wachs pleaded guilty to bank fraud in 1997 and was fined $250,000 and barred from the securities business. Bowman, a lefty progressive seeking re-election, criticized Latimer for holding the fundraiser with Wachs, following a previous fundraiser hosted by a Donald Trump supporter.

Earlier this year, Latimer had a fundraiser hosted by wealthy insurance mogul Alex Dubitsky, another Trump supporter. Bowman’s campaign spokesman, Lawrence Wang, criticized Latimer for associating with Trump supporters and a convicted fraudster, implying that Latimer’s loyalties may not align with the Democratic party. Latimer’s campaign refrained from defending the choice of co-host for the fundraiser and instead shifted the focus back to Bowman and his recent controversies.

Bowman has faced backlash for his past comments and actions, such as his defense of a mural featuring Minister Louis Farrakhan, who has made derogatory remarks about Jews. Additionally, Bowman has been involved in other controversies, including pleading guilty to pulling a fire alarm in a Capitol building and defending putting a convicted cop killer in his school’s “hall of honor.” These incidents have raised concerns among voters and detractors as the primary election approaches on June 25th.

Latimer, who has served in various public offices since the 1980s, is seen as a serious challenger to Bowman in the Democratic primary for the 16th Congressional District. The district covers southern Westchester County and parts of the north Bronx. Latimer’s campaign emphasized the support he has received from donors in Bronx and Westchester compared to Bowman’s lower local contribution percentage. The two candidates represent different factions within the Democratic party and their contrasting backgrounds and affiliations have become a focal point in the primary race.

Bowman’s campaign has criticized Latimer for his choice of fundraiser hosts and implied that he may not be aligned with the values of the Democratic party. Latimer, on the other hand, has sought to highlight Bowman’s controversies and past statements in an effort to shift the focus away from his own fundraiser attendees. The primary race between Latimer and Bowman is heating up as both candidates vie for support in the lead-up to the election on June 25th.

The fundraisers hosted by Latimer with controversial figures like Wachs and Dubitsky have drawn attention to the contrasting backgrounds and affiliations of the two Democratic candidates. Bowman’s progressive platform has resonated with some voters, while Latimer’s long history in public office and support from local donors have also helped him gain traction in the primary race. As the campaign intensifies, both candidates will need to address the concerns raised by their opponents and present a compelling case to voters in the district.

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