Tags: Charlie Rangel | new york | house | harlem | Adam Clayton Powell

As NY Rep. Charlie Rangel Closes Career, Friends Come Courting

Image: As NY Rep. Charlie Rangel Closes Career, Friends Come Courting
(Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 11 Mar 2015 06:58 AM

New York Democratic Rep. Charlie Rangel is being courted for his endorsement by several politicians who wish to fill his Harlem seat when the veteran lawmaker retires at the end of the 114th Congress, the National Journal reported.

Among those seeking Rangel's blessing in a 2016 race are Adam Clayton Powell IV and Clyde Williams, both of whom ran against him in Democratic primaries, and Keith Wright, a Rangel protégé.

One politician who stands little chance of an endorsement is state Sen. Adriano Espaillat, who ran against Rangel in 2012 and 2014 by courting the Dominican-American vote.

Rangel, who aims to retire at age 86, has represented his Harlem district since 1971. He defeated the legendary Adam Clayton Powell by 150 votes in 1970 at the start of his congressional career. In 1974, Rangel became chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus and in 2007 was named chairman of the House and Ways Means Committee. He began running into ethics problems in 2008, and stepped down from the committee in 2010.

Adam Clayton Powell IV, who wants to represent his father's former district, has served on the city council and in the state assembly. He unsuccessfully tried to defeat Rangel in the 1994 and 2010 Democratic primaries, but has since sought a reconciliation.

"I don't have any expectations," Powell told the Journal. "The congressman is free to support whoever he wants and make that decision on his own. I've heard him publicly state that I'm qualified."

Rangel said Powell "has dramatically reversed himself and has proven himself to be one of my strongest supporters. There's no question in my mind he has earned the right to be a candidate and to fulfill his lifelong ambitions to succeed his father."

Williams worked in the Bill Clinton administration and for the Democratic National Committee. His wife has worked as an Obama White House staffer, according to Ballotpedia. He unsuccessfully ran against Rangel in 2012, later also making amends and endorsing him in 2014.

Some think Wright is best positioned to get Rangel's nod. He is the Democratic county leader and co-chairman of the state Democratic Party, as well as a member of the New York State Assembly.

"I have a sense of who I would want," Rangel told the Journal. "But that person has to first show that they have support in all parts of the community.

"And since I have encouraged so many other people to do that, I don't want to announce who it might be," according to the Journal.

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New York Democratic Rep. Charlie Rangel is being courted for his endorsement by several politicians who wish to fill his Harlem seat when the veteran lawmaker retires at the end of the 114th Congress, the National Journal reported.
Charlie Rangel, new york, house, harlem, Adam Clayton Powell
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2015-58-11
Wednesday, 11 Mar 2015 06:58 AM
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