Octogenarian Congressman Charlie Rangel staved off a vigorous primary challenge from State Sen. Adriano Espaillat last year, but he has yet to gear up his operations for what could be another tough re-election fight. According to his latest filings, Mr. Rangel spent more than he raised and has negative $4,800 cash on hand and $36,000 in debts and obligations.
Last week, State Senator Adriano Espaillat’s campaign circulated a tough mailer against his primary opponent, Assemblyman Guillermo Linares, in which they accused Mr. Linares of “betraying” the community by backing Rep. Charlie Rangel over Mr. Espaillat’s bid to become the country’s first Dominican-American congressman earlier this year and for taking campaign contributions from special interests.
Mr. Rangel, a backer of Mr. Linares’ bid, is angry about the mailer. Really angry. So angry, he says, that he was motivated, in the spirit of the anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center, to condemn the controversial campaign literature in question. To that end, Mr. Rangel held a press conference where he gave a ten minute speech expressing his outrage.
The race between veteran Congressman Charlie Rangel and State Senator Adriano Espaillat for the 13th Congressional District in Upper Manhattan will come down to paper ballots. Mr. Rangel was initially declared the winner by the Associated Press based on initial results provided by the New York City Board of Elections, but it was subsequently revealed those results did not include votes from many of the precincts in the district. After a re-examination of the votes, the BOE released unofficial results tonight including votes cast in all of the district’s 506 precincts that show Mr. Rangel defeating Mr. Espaillat by a margin of just 802 votes. According to the BOE, Mr. Rangel received 18,075 votes, or 44.29 percent of the total cast, compared to Mr. Espaillat’s 17,273, 42.33 percent of the votes cast.
These unofficial results do not include paper ballots cast by absentee voters and affidavit ballots submitted by those whose name is not on the voter rolls when they arrive at the polling place. Those paper ballots, which include votes for both candidates, will be counted by the BOE next Thursday and will be the deciding factor in this tight race. Continue reading “Charlie Rangel’s Margin of Victory Down to 802 Votes”
Embattled Comptroller John Liu was one of several prominent political leaders who joined Congressman Charlie Rangel at his victory party in Harlem last night. Mr. Rangel took note of the fact that both he and Mr. Liu have faced their share of financial scandals.
“Do we have any of our public officials? Oh, John Liu, come on, this is where the money is,” Mr. Rangel said as he called Mr. Liu on stage, presumably referencing Mr. Liu’s job watching the city coffers rather than the investigation into his campaign contributions. “John has been so dedicated to people.”
Mr. Rangel went on to compare the investigation into Mr. Liu’s campaign to the censure he received from the House in 2010 for ethics violations related to taxes and his fundraising efforts for the center for public service at City College that bears his name.
Continue reading “Charlie Rangel On His Friendship With John Liu: ‘This Is Where The Money Is’”
Charlie Rangel went to vote at P.S. 175 in Harlem this morning and, in a brief press conference afterward, the longtime congressman was dismissive of his opponents, the media and the entire possibility he might lose. Today’s race is seen as potentially the toughest of the congressman’s over forty years in office thanks to the changing demographics of his district. However, Mr. Rangel first replied with a joke when a reporter asked what he’d do if he loses.
“Well, if I lose tonight, I will sleep just like a baby and cry myself to sleep,” he said with a smile.
After a few laughs, the Congressman followed up to say he doesn’t think about losing at all.
“No, no,” said Mr. Rangel. “If you have the spirit that’s necessary to overcome these political obstacles and if you’re fortunate enough to know that they’re not obstacles that you can’t overcome, than the whole attitude, ‘What do I do if I lose?’ never reaches that mental level. It really doesn’t. I would find some way to tell you if I thought it did.” Continue reading “Charlie Rangel Says The Thought Of Losing An Election ‘Never Reaches That Mental Level’ For Him”
Congressman Charlie Rangel is trying to use a Super PAC that’s backing his opponent State Senator Adriano Espaillat to his own advantage. The Politicker received a mailer from Mr. Rangel at our Washington Heights bureau in which the congressman encourages people to give him their votes because of the Super PAC’s support for his rival.
“Pinned down on the battlefield in Korea, Charlie Rangel decided to devote himself to public service if God let him survive. And he’s never stopped fighting for us,” the mailer says. “But now right-wing Tea Partiers from Texas are trying to stop him by telling us how to vote–and its time to fight back.” Continue reading “Charlie Rangel Says ‘Right-Wing Tea Partiers From Texas’ Are Trying To Take Him Out”
Congressman Charlie Rangel didn’t want to discuss who will succeed him in the House of Representatives.
“Is this an obituary?” he asked during a sometimes combative phone interview on Monday afternoon, which the longtime lawmaker described as a “rough one.”
“I’m 81-years-old, you want me to discuss what happens in three years? At the end of this year plus two. Would that make sense at all?” he asked.
Rather than deciding whom to anoint as heir, the outspokenly liberal octogenarian is facing what could be the closest campaign of his more than forty year career, while simultaneously coping with fading health and the waning power of the political empire he built in Harlem. Continue reading “One Last Sale: Can Charlie Rangel Convince Voters to Give Him Another Term in Washington?”