The three Democratic candidates in the 13th congressional district met Thursday evening for their first debate. Hosted by Abyssinian Bapist Church, the debate featured polite, but at times intense, jousting among Congressman Charles B. Rangel, State Senator Adriano Espaillat and the Rev. Michael Walrond.
A core part of Congressman Rangel’s argument for reelection is his assertion that he alone among the three is capable of providing meaningful assistance to President Obama in the last two years of Obama’s term. Rangel, a 44 year incumbent, has lost a significant amount of Washington clout due to his political and legal troubles in the last several years. Both of his opponents dismiss the notion of Rangel now having a meaningful relationship with the president.
To begin our coverage, here are our post-debate conversations with all three candidates. You’ll also hear Capital New York’s Azi Paybarah on these clips (he’s the voice asking the good questions.)
Update – Opening Statements:
While later portions of the debate have stronger emotional, and direct candidate to candidate, moments, the opening statements provide a useful introduction to the candidates and their core arguments. We’ve included the full opening statements here:
Update #2 – “People … From Slaveholding States”:
Congressman Rangel on why an immigration bill has not moved through congress:
Update #3 – Complete Debate:
Here is the complete debate: