The deputy chief clerk supervising the count of Manhattan votes in the still-unresolved Democratic primary for Rep. Charles Rangel’s seat held a meeting in Harlem with key Rangel campaign operatives and district leaders a few days before the primary, the New York Daily News
The primary was held last Tuesday, and Rangel now holds an 802 vote lead over challenger Adriano Espaillat. But there are still 2,000 absentee and other ballots to count. Espaillat originally filed a lawsuit asking that the vote-counting be closely monitored. Then on Tuesday, the Espaillat team refiled its suit, pressing for a recount and possibly even a new election.
The Daily News reported that on the Saturday before the primary, the deputy chief clerk for Manhattan’s Board of Elections, Timothy Gay, met with Rangel and his operatives in Harlem. District leaders supporting Rangel were also there. Gay is supervising the vote count in the Manhattan part of the 13th Congressional District.
When asked by the Daily News about the meeting, Gay told the paper he attended at the request of state Assemblyman Keith Wright, the Manhattan Democratic chairman, to provide “district leaders with lists of their Democratic inspectors assigned to their specific districts” and to “discuss election matters in general.”
District leaders name the poll workers that the board will hire for their districts on Election Day. The Daily News reported that several district leaders who supported Espaillat said that the Board of Elections rejected virtually all the people they recommended as poll workers.
It was Rangel’s first campaign since the House censured him in December 2010 for 11 ethics violations, including failure to disclose and pay taxes on rental income from a house he owned in the Dominican Republic. Espaillat, 57, seeks to become the first Dominican-born member of Congress.
Rangel, 82, has represented New York City’s Harlem neighborhood in the House for more than 41 years and once served as chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee. Democrats make up almost 97 percent of the district in northern Manhattan and the Bronx, so winning the primary almost ensures victory in the November general election.
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