A pediatrician who served as the mayor of Scarsdale is launching a long-shot bid to topple New York’s newest “Squad” member, Rep. Jamal Bowman.
Dr. Miriam Levitt Flisser, a registered independent running on the Republican Party line, said Bowman is too far to the left of residents in the district on issues such as crime, border security, the economy and defending Israel. The 16th Congressional District includes Westchester County and a sliver of The Bronx.
“Bowman is not representative of the people of the district. He’s much more extreme,” said Levitt Flisser, 76, who is currently medical director of the Bronxville School District.
“Crime is a big issue. He’s made statements against the police and supported defunding the police.”
Bowman, 46, a former Bronx middle school principal, won the seat in 2020 after defeating 16-term incumbent Rep. Eliot Engel in the Democratic primary — much the same way progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez knocked off ex-Congressman Joe Crowley in a 2018 primary in her bi-county Bronx-Queens district.
Upon his election, Bowman declared himself as new member of the leftist “Squad” in the House of Representatives that includes AOC, Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri and Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.
The congressman has made defunding the police central to his political identity, and has accused cops of being agents of “white supremacy.”
Levitt Flisser said she has lived the American Dream — after being smuggled out of Eastern Europe as an infant during the Nazi persecution of Jews.
As the medical director of the Bronxville school district, Levitt Flesser said she used her skills to safely prepare her public schools during the COVID-19 outbreak and limit disruption to students compared to other districts.
Bowman first appeared on The Post’s radar in 2015, when, as principal of the Cornerstone Academy for Social Action Middle School, he published a blog entry calling “high stakes” standardized for students “a form of modern-day slavery…designed to continue the proliferation of inequality.” He has also trashed capitalism as “slavery by another name.”
Levitt Flisser faulted Bowman for not being sufficiently pro-Israel, noting he withdrew support of legislation to strengthen and expand the Abraham Accords negotiated by former President Donald Trump’s administration that normalized relations between Israel and some Arab countries — the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan.
But Bowman also took flak from activists with the Democratic Socialists of America — who support the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel– for visiting the Jewish State as well as the Palestinian territories late last year.
The congressman said the trip informed his decision to conclude that the Abraham Accords was counterproductive.
“In the end, it is my estimation that these actions will only escalate violence in the Middle East and make already vulnerable communities less safe,” Bowman said in a letter to constitute in February. “This agreement to normalize relations unhelpfully isolates Palestine and Western Sahara when what we need is a process that engages them.”
Bowman and Ocasio-Cortez voted against the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill pushed by President Biden, arguing it wasn’t expansive enough. He voted for the Inflation Reduction Act that includes spending on progressive policies such as combating climate change and extending subsidies for the Affordable Care Act.
The GOP challenger claimed Democratic stimulus spending during the COVID-19 outbreak and post-pandemic have “aided inflation” and would have voted against them.
She said addressing climate change is an important “long term” goal but “we’re in a crisis situation” with inflation and crime — pressing problems that should be dealt with first.
Bowman has a big fundraising advantage, with $491,603 in cash on hand in his campaign account while Levitt Flisser has not yet filed a fundraising report, according to Federal Election Commission records.
The congressman defended his record.
“Congressman Bowman believes in results, not rage, and his record of accomplishment for the people of NY-16 speaks for itself. He’s been delivering for his constituents and bringing resources directly back to this district, including hundreds of millions of dollars for our towns and communities,” the Bowman campaign said in a statement.
“He will continue to bring this same energy to Congress in his second term.”