Tags: rangel | reelection | harlem | 83

Rangel, 83, Plans to Run One More Time

Image: Rangel, 83, Plans to Run One More Time

Tuesday, 28 Jan 2014 07:28 AM

By Elliot Jager

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Eighty-three-year-old Democratic Rep. Charles Rangel, who has represented his Harlem district since 1971, plans to seek re-election — for the last time — the New York Post reported.

Rangel plans to retire from public life in 2016 when President Barack Obama leaves the White House.

Opponents say talk of a last term is a "stunt" by the veteran African American politician who knows that his redistricted constituency now has a 55 percent Hispanic majority. His original district was at least 80 percent African-American, according to the Post.

He barely defeated State Senator Adriano Espaillat in the last Democratic primary.

"Rangel is hoping that he will get more support for re-election by promising this will be his last term— and that party leaders will allow him to step down in dignity then, rather than backing a challenger now," a source told the New York Post.

Meanwhile, Rangel has put together a top notch, costly campaign machine to help him in what is expected to be a difficult race, Capital New York reported.

He hired Metropolitan Strategies to oversee strategy, messaging, and communications and Mercury Public Affairs to do direct mail and polling.

In addition to a possible re-match with Espaillat, Rangel could also face Michael Waldron,  the activist pastor of First Corinthian Baptist Church on Manhattan's Adam Clayton Powell Blvd.

Rangel defeated Adam Clayton Powell by 150 votes in 1970 at the start of his congressional career.

In 1974 he became chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus and in 2007 became chairman of the powerful House and Ways Means Committee. He began running into ethics problems in 2008 and stepped down from the committee in 2010, according to The New York Times.

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