State Senator Adriano Espaillat, who’s had his eye on a potential run for Congress should the redistricting process create a new Latino seat in Northern Manhattan and the Bronx, is moving forward with his plans and is forming a campaign committee that will allow him to raise and spend money while further pursuing the campaign.
“This is a historic opportunity for the State of New York to send a clear and unmistakable message that the growth of the Latino community demands that our government reflect our diversity,” Mr. Espaillat said in a statement this morning. “We are forming a committee that will explore the possibilities of what a predominantly Latino district would look like and whether there is support for a candidate who represents us.”
There are a lot of redistricting unknowns at the moment, but neither the courts or the Legislature have seemed inclined to draw a new Latino seat separate from Congressman Charlie Rangel’s, whom Mr. Espaillat was previously not thought to desire a direct match with. So Mr. Espaillat may be hoping whoever draws the final map changes his or her mind, or he could be preparing for an open seat should Mr. Rangel not run for reelection. The 82-year old veteran Congressman has been in the hospital with a back injury for the last couple weeks.
Or, possibly, Mr. Espaillat may take the plunge and join the field of those challenging Mr. Rangel even if he runs for reelection.
Mr. Espaillat, who would be the first Dominican-American elected to Congress in history if successful, acknowledged the uncertainty surrounding redistricting in his statement.
“While it’s premature to target one particular district, given the fact that final district lines have not been settled, launching this exploratory committee is an important step in making sure we are ready, when the final district lines are established,” he said.
The press release also noted a number of individuals that are a part of the exploratory committee, including Uptown power broker and District Leader Maria Luna, and the president of the political consulting firm Global Strategy Group, Jefrey Pollock.