Hesitant Schumer endorses Eliot Engel in difficult primary battle

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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer endorsed 16-term New York Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel Wednesday for another term in Congress. Engel is facing a tough primary challenge from an opponent backed by Democratic liberals.

“I have a longtime, close friendship with Eliot Engel and have worked with him on many issues. From taking on Donald Trump, to standing up for women’s right to choose to expanding affordable health care, to fighting for civil and human rights, Eliot Engel has been a strong and effective fighter for the people of his district and all Americans — and I am proud to endorse him,” Schumer said in a statement first reported by Jewish Insider.

Schumer, when first asked at a press conference on June 9 if he would endorse Engel, hesitated. Schumer, who is also a New York Democrat, told reporters, “I haven’t endorsed in that race,” adding, “I’m busy with Senate races.”

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