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.