And says he banked around $40,000 this election cycle, giving him close to $80,000 in the bank for his re-match with Rangel.
This is obviously a far cry from Rangel’s fundraising prowess. The longtime congressman has banked close to $500,000 this year.
“Obviously it’s nothing to write home about,” Powell said of his totals. “But I think we will have enough money to at least compete.”
He was in his car on his way to a fundraiser in Westchester County when we spoke, and said he expected more money to start coming in.
“You start out with too much money, and you start making all sorts of contracts and committments and then at the end you don’t have as much as you thought you did,” he said. “I’d rather have all my money come in in July and August.”
Powell also insisted that he is running to win this year, and not simply running in order to increase his name recognition for a future run.
“If I don’t win, I’ll be unemployed. I wouldn’t give up an Assembly seat and give up a $100,000 a year job just to make a statement. I believe people are ready to turn the page.”
Many Harlem politicos suspected that Powell would ultimately make a lot of noise but not give up a safe Assembly seat. He did however submit 6,000 signatures. Powell ran in 1994 and lost, garnering a little over a third of the vote. Still, it was the only competive election Rangel has run since toppling Powell’s father, Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. in 1970.
Powell reiterated his theory that Rangel would drop out mid-term if he won, in order for the county party to pick a sucessor.
“The people around the incumbent want him to get re-elected–and I don’t believe he will be–so he can resign in the middle of the term so they can have a special election and put up their choice. To me that’s despicable.”
If there is a special election, New York County leader Keith Wright will have a big say in who gets the Democratic slot on the ballot, and he has been known to want to seat himself. City Councilwoman Inez Dickens is also mentioned as a likely candidate.
He added that he did not think he would be anointed successor.
“I’m not going to be the chosen because I’m not going to kiss ass.”