Mount Vernon native to take on Eliot Engel in next election

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Several new faces will be taking on longtime Rep. Eliot Engel in the Democratic primary, including Andom Ghebreghiorgis – a fellow Democrat who called the upcoming election “a referendum on term limits.”

Ghebreghiorgis, a former New York City special-education teacher who was born in the Bronx and grew up in Mount Vernon, wants to take over the seat that Engel has held in the 16th District since the late 1980s.

“It's a referendum on money in politics. It's a referendum on what does progressive social welfare mean, it's a referendum on U.S. militarism and imperialism," says Ghebreghiorgis.

The first-time candidate calls himself a progressive Democrat, an educator, a son of immigrants from Northern Africa and a proud American. Ghebreghiorgis supports the Green New Deal, abolishing ICE and repealing the Second Amendment – saying he prefers peaceful resolution over the right to bear arms.

"Unfortunately, a lot about America has changed for the worse…We've seen wages stagnate, income inequality widen to its worst point in 50 years, college becoming increasingly unaffordable, people are going into poverty because of their medical expenses," he told News 12.

Maybe most important to his campaign so far was a profile by “Humans of New York,” a popular site of photographic profiles that reached nearly 10 million people on Instagram and another 18 million on Facebook. It resulted in more than 4,000 people donating to his campaign just last week.

"It spoke to them, it connected with them, it resonated with them because we're speaking about the needs that the vast majority of Americans are dealing with," he says.

News 12 reached out to Rep. Engel's campaign about the race. They say he has a two-year contract with the people of his district and he's working to earn another term in Congress.

Ghebreghiorgis is one of four Democrats challenging Rep. Engel for his seat so far.


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