AIPAC Places $1.9 Million Ad Buy to Oust Bowman

The pro-Israel group's ads are booked to begin airing tomorrow in the Democratic primary race between incumbent Jamaal Bowman and challenger George Latimer.

AIPAC Places $1.9 Million Ad Buy to Oust Bowman
U.S. Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) speaks during a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol on February 14, 2024. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s super PAC, the United Democracy Project (UDP), has booked $1.9 million in TV ads to influence voters in the high-profile Democratic primary race in New York’s Sixteenth Congressional District, according to the media-tracking firm AdImpact.

The ads will air from tomorrow until next Monday, according to an AdImpact alert, marking the group’s first spending in the contest between AIPAC-endorsed challenger Westchester County Executive George Latimer and incumbent Rep. Jamaal Bowman. In New York, early voting runs from June 15-23 ahead of primary Election Day on June 25. 

“This new ad spending in New York shows once and for all that my opponent, George Latimer, is bankrolled by a right-wing Super PAC that has received over $40 million from Republican megadonors who want to defend Republican insurrectionists, overturn voting rights, and ban abortion nationwide,” Bowman said in a statement responding to UDP’s ad bookings. “Democrats across New York deserve better, and will reject these attempts to buy our elections and undermine our democracy. New Yorkers know that if George Latimer is willing to sell out to Donald Trump's biggest donors, he will sell you out too.”

Many of the top donors to UDP have bestowed large donations on Republican office seekers, according to Sludge’s analysis of campaign finance records. The super PAC’s top donor so far this election cycle is billionaire Jan Koum, a Nikki Haley campaign donor, with $5 million given to UDP. David Zalik, a donor to Ted Cruz’s campaign among others, has given $2 million. A pair of Republican megadonors, Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus and hedge fund founder Paul Singer, donated $2 million and $1 million to UDP respectively, according to FEC records. 

In its most recent FEC filing, covering donations made in March, UDP raised $1.8 million. Investor Michael Sacks, a board member of the Obama Foundation, gave $250,000, as did theatrical producer Linda Rubin, doubling the donation to UDP she made in April 2023.

UDP did not respond to a request for comment.

Earlier this year, sources told Politico that Bowman would be a top target of AIPAC to unseat based on the progressive representative’s criticism of Israel’s war in Gaza, along with Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.). The lobbying group AIPAC intends to pour $100 million this year into races across its spending arms, “taking aim at candidates they deem insufficiently supportive of Israel,” sources told Politico.