Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Image via WikipediaRangel Holds Early Lead - NYTimes.com
Representative Charles B. Rangel, the battle-scarred Democratic incumbent facing numerous ethics charges, captured his party’s nomination on Tuesday after a nasty six-way primary battle in which his opponents sharply questioned his fitness to serve.
The victory makes it virtually certain that Mr. Rangel, a legendary figure in city and state politics, will win the November general election in his overwhelmingly Democratic Congressional district in Upper Manhattan.
With 59 percent of the vote counted, Mr. Rangel had 53 percent, trailed by his chief rival, Adam Clayton Powell IV, with 25 percent.
Hours before the results were tallied, Mr. Rangel made an early appearance at 9:45 p.m. to address his supporters. In front of a modest yet enthusiastic crowd of around 200, Mr. Rangel was greeted by chants of, “Char-lie! Char-lie!”
Flanked by Robert M. Morgenthau, the former Manhattan district attorney, and John C. Liu, the New York City comptroller (whom Mr. Rangel first introduced as “John Choo” and then tried to correct himself by saying “Bob Liu”), Mr. Rangel hinted at his recent admonishment by the House ethics committee.
“Tonight we’re not celebrating but reaffirming the American process, which is the papers don’t elect the officials,” he said. “My heart is beating so fast right now not because of the terrible accusations and allegations, it beats fast from coming from a community where my friends and voters say, ‘Hey, we’ll make the decisions.’ ”
The last time Mr. Rangel faced a serious primary challenge was in 1994, when he defeated Mr. Powell, who was then a councilman, 61 percent to 33 percent. He has otherwise cruised to re-election.