Charles Rangel of Harlem wins New York’s 13th Congressional District primary. Again. But it wasn’t easy.
In fact, it was his toughest challenge in decades. With over 85 percent of precincts reporting at just after midnight, Rangel was clearly ahead of his strongest challenger, state Senator Adriano Espaillat, a 57 year-old Dominican-American, 45.2 percent to 39.8 percent. The other challengers, Democratic National Committee political director Clyde Williams, Joyce Johnson, who has run against Rangel before, and community activist Craig Schley, received 10.3 percent, 3.2 percent and 1.5 percent of the vote, respectively.
Ironically, the ethics charges and being removed from his powerful congressional position made him vulnerable, which is how he became a congressman in the first place. Rangel, 82, was first elected to Congress from Harlem in 1970, having challenged legendary Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., who ironically, had been weakened by ethics scandals. Rangel defeated Powell by just 150 votes.
Rangel sounded defiant against the city’s daily newspapers, all of whom endorsed his opponents in the primary. “When some of the most severe charges have been made against me in the past, it was my community that came out,” Rangel said.