Mount Vernon teacher announces primary challenge to Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel

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Mount Vernon teacher announces primary challenge to Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel

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Andom Ghebreghiorgis, a 33-year-old special education teacher from Mount Vernon, announced Wednesday he will challenge Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel for the party’s nomination in the 2020 primary, according to a press release from Ghebreghiorgis’ campaign.

Eliot represents Pelham, as well as other sections of Westchester County and the Bronx.

Ghebreghiorgis, who is coming after Engel from the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, said Engel “has been beholden to special interests, receiving millions of dollars in contributions from real estate, the healthcare industry, the military/defense lobby and Wall Street over the course of his 30 years” in office.

Ghebreghiorgis said he would not take contributions from corporate Political Action Committees.

The challenger said he would fight for “recognizing affordable housing as a human right, guaranteeing jobs at fair wages, ensuring Medicare for All, investing in clean energy, sustainable infrastructure and the (Green New Deal), fully-funding public education from pre-K through college.”

“We have wasted trillions of dollars on forever wars, unnecessary prisons, ICE, on corporate welfare of every kind,” Ghebreghiorgis said in the release. “Imagine what places like Mount Vernon would look like if we had invested even a fraction of that money in our own communities instead.”

Ghebreghiorgis plans to launch a website on Thursday and release policy planks throughout the month.

The press release did not provide additional career or biographical information on Ghebreghiorgis.