Joyce Johnson, a longtime governmental and political hand who in came third place in the race to unseat Charlie Rangel this year, said in a brief interview with The Politicker last night that she is gearing up to run again in 2012.
“I am going to start earlier, and do a better job organizing and raising money,” she said.
Johnson acknowledged that her campaign did not gain its footing until she was endorsed by The New York Times, which feared in its endorsement that Rangel would pull “a common New York party trick by resigning early so Democrats could handpick his replacement for a quick, unnoticed special election” and called his closest opponent, Adam Clayton Powell IV, someone “who has done little in Albany, even by Albany’s do-little standards.”
Johnson was lumped in instead with also-rans Jonathan Tasini, Ruben Vargas and Vince Morgan, but was deemed the class of that group because she “has been a strong advocate for women’s rights and civil rights for many years.”
Johnson ended up finishing third, behind Powell and Rangel, with 12 percent of the vote.
Johnson said that the reason she was not able to get any traction was because, “the press was obsessed with the Powell-Rangel rematch. I called it Ali-Frazier.”
Johnson also said that she expected the “common New York party trick” that The Times mentioned would actually occur, and that Rangel would resign early and pick a successor. She said she was preparing to run against Assemblyman Keith Wright or council member Inez Dickens.
“I am a party insider, too,” she said.
Johnson has previously served as a district leader.
Johnson however seems to hold no ill feeling towards the foe that vanquished her last week. Last night she waited outside a community center where Rangel was slated to appear to congratulate him for the first time following his victory
“I knew you were on your way here,” she said as she reached to embrace the dean of the Congressional delegation. “I didn’t want to do it over the phone.”