Espaillat: “It’s tough to run against a legend.”


And that legend happens to Congressman Charles Rangel of Harlem. Now that the new NY-14 is 55% Hispanic, 36% NH black and 9% NH white/Asian, Sen. Adriano Espaillat contends that the time has come for Latinos to “kick down the door!”

Sen. Espaillat has thrown down his gauntlet by circulating nominating petitions for NY-14 today. Despite setting up an exploratory committee and circulating petitions but Espaillat has not formally announced his bid for Congress.

City And State’s Chris Bragg reached out to Rep. Rangel’s campaign and reported the following:

Rangel has said he intends to run for re-election, and his spokesman Bob Liff reaffirmed that today when asked about Espaillat circling petitions.

“No reaction other than that Rangel is running,” Liff emailed.

The normally cautious, Sen. Espaillat, and his team, must sense a path to victory. I believe that path involves the three African American challengers, who have expressed their desire to run against Rep. Rangel.

A divided black vote and a Hispanic-white coalition could make Sen. Espaillat the victor on June 26.

In his Notebook blog, C&S’ Chris Bragg tries to game out two scenarios where Rangel keeps the district in black hands. In scenario one, Rangel decides against running for re-election but maneuvers for Assemblyman Keith Wright to run his place. In scenario two, Rangel runs against Espaillat head-to-head. Bragg does not predict the outcomes. Instead, he excitedly  awaits the match-ups.

In the comments section, I suggest two other more likely scenarios and outcomes. In one, Rangel wins the primary, declines the nomination and his vacancy committee selects a replacement. In the other, Rangel wins both the primary and general elections but does not complete his new term. In that event, the Democratic county committee convenes to designate a candidate for the ensuing special election. This scenario is complicated by the various factions that may control blocs of county committee votes.

Read City&State –  Espaillat: “It’s tough to run against a legend.”.

Do you think Espaillat will succeed in his effort to become the third Hispanic (and first Dominican American) Member of Congress from NY?

About SquarePegDem

A former state legislator turned NY Post editorial board member, thought-leader, public affairs consultant and commentator, columnist and blogger. Michael has appeared on Al Jazeera America Tonight, NY1/Inside City Hall, FoxNews.com LIVE, YNN/Capital Tonight, The Brian Lehrer Show, The Fred Dicker Show, The Capitol Press Room, and The Daily Show. His op-eds have appeared in the NY Post, City and State, The Legislative Gazette, Bronx Times, The Troy Record, Buffalo News, and the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. To schedule speaking engagements, email MBenjamin9@optimum.net.
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