All eyes on Rangel as New Yorkers head to the polls today
At Spectator, we’ve been following the race for Congressional District 13 with interest, as incumbent Congressman Charles Rangel faces what has been by all accounts one of the toughest races of his four-decade career. But the battle for the seat representing Harlem, Washington Heights, and part of the Bronx is being closely watched across the city and the country. As there is no Republican candidate in the race, today’s Democratic primary virtually determines the next congressman.
While Rangel is still considered the favorite, he has some formidable challengers, particularly in State Senator Adriano Espaillat, who’s younger and has been very visible in Washington Heights, which he represents in Albany. Espaillat has made no secret of the fact that he would be the first Dominican-American member of the House if elected, an asset that could work to his favor, considering that Hispanics make make up the majority of the voting-age population, at 52.7 percent, in the redrawn district.
Though he hasn’t been quite as visible in coverage by the media or in public appearance, Clyde Williams has pulled in even stronger fundraising numbers than Espaillat and gained the endorsement of the New York Times. His experience as domestic policy advisor to Bill Clinton (post-presidency) and a former top official in the Democratic National Committee have been big draws. Former local Democratic district leader Joyce Johnson and activist Craig Schley are also opposing Rangel.
We’ll be back here tonight with interviews with the candidates and results of the primary—moved up to June from its usual September date—but in the mean time, reread Spectator’s series on District 13 from April: part 1, on the the history of the district and of Rangel, and part 2, on the state of the race, redistricting, switcheroos, and more.
Polls close at 9 p.m. tonight.
Here’s how much the candidates have raised as of June 6, the last reporting date, according to OpenSecrets:
- Rangel: raised $1,077,270, spent $995,472, on hand $178,810
- This is the lowest amount Rangel has raised since the 1992 election. Two years ago he had raised about $3.5 million and four years ago over $7 million. A back injury earlier this year prevented him from campaigning as much, not to mention the moved-up primary date.
- Williams: raised $362,464, spent $246,261, on hand $116,203
- Espaillat: raised $333,637, spent $204,157, on hand $73,188
- Data is not available for Schley or Johnson.
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