Longtime Harlem Congressman Charlie Rangel tried to tamp down rumors that he is close to retirement and to fend off any would-be challengers by sending out a long statement this evening in which he says he will seek a 22nd term in the House of Representatives.
“The Court has spoken,” Mr. Rangel said in the statement, referring to the Congressional map drawn by the special master and released last night. ”I have full confidence that those who have made the decision did the best they could for my constituents and the people of New York to protect their voice and representation, as guaranteed by the Voting Rights Act. I am formally announcing, again, and after talking with my county leaders, political and community leaders, that I will seek reelection in the new 13th congressional district.”
The new district Mr. Rangel seeks to represents will stretch from his long-time base in Harlem and head into portions of the Bronx, and now has a majority of Latino voters and so it is a little hard to know what Mr. Rangel meant when he said he had been in consultation with his “county leaders. The Manhattan county leader, Keith Wright, is a close ally of Mr. Rangel’s. The Bronx county leader, Carl Heastie, has been sparring with Mr. Wright over the contours of the new district. Either way, in his statement, Mr. Rangel made an overture to those new constituents of his.
“Over the years I have been privileged to receive the broad-based support of so many friends and neighbors in our Manhattan congressional district,” he said. “I am proud of the resources that I have been able to bring to Harlem and our community. I hope to continue representing the people I have been honored to serve in Congress and earn the support of my new constituents in the newly drawn district.”
A host of pols in Upper Manhattan have their knives out for Mr. Rangel, including Adriano Espaillat, a Washington Heights State Senator, Vince Morgan, a community banker in Harlem, and Clyde Williams, a former head of the Democratic National Committee.
Mr. Rangel appeared to want to remind his constituents of his work over the years and what his long service in the House can bring to the district: Read More