In his biggest political challenge in years, Democratic Rep. Charles Rangel managed to fight off all challengers and once again claim the nomination for his 22nd term representing the newly drawn Harlem-area Congressional district.
The veteran politician defeated fellow Democrats Sen. Adriano Espaillat, Joyce Johnson, former Rangel intern Craig Schley, and former Bill Clinton aide Clyde Williams to win the Democratic primary for the newly re-aligned 13th district.
Many felt the district, which stretches from the northwest Bronx to East Harlem, would be up for grabs since the re-alignment made African Americans the minority and Latinos the majority.
Rangel, 82, was confident he would win the nomination, and during his victory speech he teetered on arrogant.
“They’ve had enough trust in me, they say, ‘Rangel, we think you can do it. We want you on our team in the Bronx,'” he told reporters. “And so I can tell everybody who don’t know this district or the Bronx, I feel my district and the blood and the minds and the ambitions and the things that people want for their children.”
Rangel’s most prominent opponent, Sen. Adriano Espaillat, send out a note thanking his supporters for all they had done. “Though we didn’t make it to the finish line tonight, the values we fought for and the communities we seek to improve will continue to light a fire in us,” he said. “The truth is, even in coming a bit short, we made history.
Rangel has served in the U.S. House since 1970.