Despite being old as dirt, having been censured…and being old as dirt, ancient Harlem Congressman Charlie Rangel likely will be heading back to Congress for a 22nd term after it appears he’ll survive a recount in this year’s Democratic primary.
As of this writing, Rangel’s lead over former Democratic State Senator Adriano Espaillat is at 990 votes, with all of the remaining ballots now counted.
Espaillat — who conceded on election night but then recanted his concession — is expected to concede (again) later today, according to various media reports (the Voice has been unable to independently confirm those reports).
Two weeks ago tomorrow, Rangel, 82, came out on top in the five-person Democratic primary — and that’s after he was formally censured by the House of Representatives for multiple ethical violations stemming from (among various other ethical issues) his failure to pay taxes on income he received from a rental “villa” he owns in the Dominican Republic (that photo to the right is Charlie enjoying his villa).
However, Espaillat demanded a recount after alleging Hispanic voters (who would benefit the Hispanic Congressional wannabe) were turned away from voting booths and bilingual election officials were replaced with ones who only speak English.
This year is the first time Rangel’s had to face voters since getting censured — and since the 2010 census had him redistricted into New York’s 13th Congressional District, which is 55-percent Hispanic, an obvious benefit for Espaillat.
In addition to his ethical issues — and redistricting dilemma — Rangel had trouble raising money for what is now his 22nd re-election campaign. Fellow Democrats — who’d received favors from Rangel in the past — ponied up the cash to fuel his primary push.
Despite Rangel’s new district being predominantly Hispanic, it’s still a Democratic stronghold. In other words, Rangel’s likely a shoo-in in the general election.
We’ll let you know as soon as Espaillat throws in the towel. Check back for updates.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 9, 2012