Category Archives: Adam Clayton Powell IV

Congressional Race Underway (Updated)

A congressional campaign is now underway, but it’s not the 11th Congressional District race to succeed Michael Grimm.  It’s the 2016 13th Congressional District race to succeed Rep. Charles B. Rangel.  Rangel, re-elected to a 23rd term in 2014, has said that he will not run again.

Adam Clayton Powell IV, son of the legendary congressman defeated in 1970 by Charles Rangel, kicked-off his campaign with an East Harlem fundraiser this evening.  Powell is a former state assembly and city council member who has run against Rangel twice.  He supported Rangel in 2012 and 2014 against strong challenges each time from NY State Senator Adriano Espaillat, however.

I spoke with Powell tonight, with our conversation covering why he’s begun campaigning so early, whether he’s asked for Rangel’s endorsement, what voters are looking for, the large field of prospective candidates and how his career ups and downs have affected him.

Update – The Competition:

Among the large group of possible competitors for the seat is New York State Senator Adriano Espaillat, who ran and lost to Rangel in 2012 and 2014.  The Dominican-born Espaillat represents much of Upper Manhattan and was widely regarded as likely to win in 2014.  Powell had some non-encouraging comments about a third Espaillat candidacy.  Although he described Espaillat as “a great guy”, Powell noted that Espaillat has lost twice in seeking the seat and offered (without any apparent irony) that “I don’t think he wants to go out with three strikes.”  He also suggested that Espaillat “ought to be planning his retirement rather than Charlie Rangel’s retirement.”  Powell spoke in response to a question from Will Bredderman of the NY Observer.

Rangel & El Barrio

Congressman Charles B. Rangel today held a press conference on 116th & Lexington Avenue to tout some of his Mexican-American and Puerto Rican supporters.  Rangel’s electoral hopes require a strong showing in El Barrio, a predominantly Puerto Rican portion of East Harlem.

Press Conference:

Rangel pitch to voters involves portraying himself as the candidate most able to assist President Obama in the last two years of his presidency.  He ignores the distance that the president has kept from Rangel since his tax woes, focusing on his more than four decades in Congress and his resulting knowledge and experience.  Today he pushed that argument, and also portrayed himself as a deeply embedded part of El Barrio, with his supporter Adam Clayton Powell IV attacking competing candidate, Domincan-born and Washington Heights resident, Adriano Espaillat as an “interloper”.

Here are selected excerpts from the press conference:

Debate “Phone Call”:

Rep. Rangel’s “phone call” at last week’s candidate debate has garnered lots of attention. Here’s what Rangel had to say today about it: