elizabeth warren jamaal bowman SPLIT
CNN  — 

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren plans to endorse Jamaal Bowman on Tuesday, throwing her support in a closely watched Democratic primary race behind a middle school principal who has garnered backing from big-name progressive leaders in his challenge against longtime New York Rep. Eliot Engel.

“He is exactly the kind of person we need in Congress fighting for big, structural change. Whether it’s fighting for high-quality public schools, affordable housing, or rooting out systemic racism, Jamaal Bowman will be a champion for working people in Washington,” Warren will say in an endorsement statement obtained by CNN.

“Senator Warren knows it’s not enough to keep electing Democrats that will only nibble around the edges, and it’s why I am running to make big, structural change in New York’s 16th District,” Bowman will say in the release.

Visit CNN’s Election Center for full coverage of the 2020 race

Warren’s endorsement is the latest example of the growing progressive momentum behind Bowman, who is challenging Engel, a long-serving and influential Democrat in Congress with significant establishment support. New York will hold its primary election on Tuesday, June 23.

Warren’s endorsement comes the day after The New York Times reported Hillary Clinton’s endorsement of Engel, marking the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee’s first primary endorsement in a 2020 House race.

Other national figures who have endorsed Bowman include Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Bowman is also backed by prominent progressive groups like the Justice Democrats and MoveOn.

Engel has been a congressman since 1989; his 16th Congressional District includes parts of the Bronx and Westchester. The congressman – currently the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee – has touted being a lifelong Bronx native. But recently, he has recently come under criticism for not spending enough time at home in New York, including earlier this year as his district was ravaged by Covid-19.

The congressman also raised eyebrows earlier this month when at a news conference, he could be heard jostling for time to speak at the mic. “If I didn’t have a primary, I wouldn’t care,” Engel said.

Bowman seized on the moment, calling it “incredibly painful to watch” and saying that it is important for members of Congress to take care of their constituents “whether it’s election season or not.”

Engel, at the time, said in a statement that “in the context of running for re-election, I thought it was important for people to know where I stand, that’s why I asked to speak.”

View 2020 presidential election polling

During a wide-ranging interview with CNN Monday afternoon in White Plains, Engel, upon learning about Clinton’s endorsement, said: “You think Hillary Clinton would endorse me if I wasn’t around? She endorses me because she knows I’m always around and I always do good work.”

In addition to Clinton, Engel has also been endorsed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, fellow New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries and House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn.

If Bowman were successful in unseating Engel next Tuesday, the victory would mark a huge upset for the first-time political candidate. His recent momentum has helped fuel his fundraising – on Monday, the Bowman campaign announced that it had raised $750,000 so far in the month of June.

The $750,000 represents half of the $1.5 million Bowman has raised altogether, according to his campaign, which also said that more than more than 25,000 donations came in during the first 15 days of June.

CNN’s Fredreka Schouten contributed to this report.