Candidates for the 16th Congressional District go head-to-head on Zoom debate

The showdown for the 16th Congressional District is heating up with the five candidates on the ballot in the June 23 primary participating in a Zoom debate.

News 12 Staff

May 26, 2020, 6:20 PM

Updated 1,463 days ago

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Editor's Note (June 1): Andom Ghebreghiorgis ended his campaign after the News 12 debate.
The showdown for the 16th Congressional District is heating up with the five candidates on the ballot in the June 23 primary participating in a Zoom debate.
Rep. Eliot Engel has been in congress for over three decades, something he says gives him an edge.
"We have a system in Congress known as the seniority system. It means the more seniority you have, the more power you have,” says Engel.
WATCH: FULL DEBATE: NY's 16th Congressional District

Rep. Engel is facing his fiercest challenge in the Democratic primary in some time, from candidates looking to offer a choice to voters in both Westchester and the Bronx.
Jamaal Bowman is a former principal endorsed by the Justice Democrats, the same group that backed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez two years ago when she toppled long-time Congressman Joe Crowley in the 14th District. One of his major goals is to eliminate poverty and income inequality.
"We need to make sure the wealthy in this country pay their fair share in taxes and contribute into a system where we can reinvest in education, housing, health care and environmental justice,” says Bowman.
Chris Fink has a wealth of experience in clean energy and building infrastructure, two of the pillars of his campaign to represent the district.
"I'm going to create jobs in renewable energy and infrastructure. These are permanent jobs, high paying jobs for displaced workers that will give them life-long careers,” says Fink.
There is also Andom Ghebreghiorgis, a special education teacher and progressive Democrat, who is also focused on jobs, seeking to raise the minimum wage and enact a federal job guarantee.
"Federal Job Guarantee, as I said before, will power the green new deal. It will power Medicare for all and the ability to have a care industry. We've excluded too many for too long,” says Ghebreghiorgis.
Sammy Ravelo, who is recently retired from the NYPD after 25 years, says his life experience will guide his policies.
"There are many needs in the district such as education and health care and economic justice and I'm here to roll up my sleeves and make sure I go to Congress for them,” says Ravelo.
As for the congressman, if re-elected Engel plans to focus some of his attention on helping workers in a post-coronavirus economy.
"Make sure we create jobs and pay people a living wage and we do the sort of things that benefit not just the individual but the country and I think it's the important thing to do,” says Engel.


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