Rangel Fends Off Challengers to Win Difficult Primary


rangel1Surviving one of the toughest re-election fights of his career, Representative Charles B. Rangel fended off four challengers on Tuesday to win the Democratic nomination for a 22nd term in Congress.

“I’m just glad that my community has faith and confidence in me,” Mr. Rangel told reporters shortly before declaring victory at Sylvia’s, the famed Harlem restaurant.

Mr. Rangel’s victory capped a gripping campaign for a Congressional seat that for decades has been at the center of black political power – and preserved a career in Washington that had been threatened by ethics troubles and changing demographics.

Mr. Rangel was censured in 2010 after the House Ethics Committee found him guilty of 11 counts of ethical violations, including failure to pay taxes, improper solicitation of donations and failure to report his personal income accurately.

And because of the decennial redistricting process, Mr. Rangel, who turned 82 this month and had been slowed by back problems, was forced to run in a district that had been extended from Harlem into the Bronx, giving its population a Hispanic majority.

But Mr. Rangel, who was first elected to Congress in 1970, waged a campaign focused on his legislative seniority. And he stressed the backing of many elected officials, suggesting that New York’s political establishment was not ready to usher him from office.

Mr. Rangel’s top challenger, State Senator Adriano Espaillat, would have been the first Dominican-born congressman had he defeated Mr. Rangel and won the November election. But his challenge was encumbered in part by the presence of three other candidates, including Clyde Williams, a former adviser to President Clinton, and Joyce Johnson, a former local Democratic district leader.

Mr. Espaillat acknowledged defeat, saying, “We came in slightly short this time,” but he said, “The summer of 2012 will always be remembered as the summer when northern Manhattan came together.” He pledged to work with Mr. Rangel, saying, “We will be working with him to make sure the community gets what it deserves to get.”

Mr. Rangel’s fight for his party’s nomination, in New York’s 13th District, was the most closely watched of several competitive primaries as redistricting and retirements created the opportunity for change in the city’s Congressional delegation.

{NY Times/Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. Like I said, the Voters are dumb, stupid, & ignorant! Term limits MUST become the law of the land at every level!