Ex-Assemblyman Says Rep. Charlie Rangel Probably Won’t Win in 2014

Written by City & State on . Posted in Politics.


Photo via City & State.

Is it too early to speculate about the 2014 race for Manhattan Rep. Charlie Rangel’s seat?

Not for ex-Assemblyman Adam Clayton Powell IV, who has been telling associates that he’s very likely to run for the seat if Rangel does not. In a phone interview, Powell confirmed his interest, saying he “probably would” run for the seat if Rangel retires.

“I don’t think he’s running,” Powell added of Rangel, when asked if the congressman’s close re-election race against State Sen. Adriano Espaillat and three others showed that it’s time for the congressman to hang it up. “There is certainly some Rangel fatigue. He’s no longer chairing the Ways & Means committee in Congress, so it’s not the same.”

Asked about a potential matchup against State Sen. Adriano Espaillat – who seems well-positioned to run for the seat in 2014 after losing to Rangel by a mere two points – Powell argued that much of the vote for Espaillat this election was simply made in protest of Rangel. He compared the situation to a 2006 race in Brooklyn, when Councilman Charles Barron got 36 percent of the vote against Congressman Ed Towns in a three-way contest. This year, Barron only got a quarter of the vote in the race for an open seat against Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries.

Powell has run for Congress against Rangel twice before: in 1994 and again in 2010. Despite a fraught history, which includes Rangel unseating Powell’s father from Congress four decades ago, Powell endorsed Rangel’s re-election bid this year.

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