Vince Morgan, a former staffer for Congressman Charlie Rangel, will officially announce his decision to depart the race against his former boss today. Mr. Morgan is giving his endorsement to another one of Mr. Rangel’s challengers, Adriano Espaillat.
“We’re thrilled to have Vince Morgan’s endorsement. It’s yet another sign that Adriano’s message of bringing bold, new ideas to Congress is resonating in all corners of the district,” a spokesman for Mr. Espaillat, Ibrahim Khan, told The Politicker.
Mr. Morgan previously challenged Mr. Rangel in 2010 and he had positioned himself as one of the congressman’s first confirmed challengers in this year’s race. After keeping an admittedly “low profile” on the campaign trail while four other rivals emerged for Mr. Rangel’s seat, Mr. Morgan said he was reconsidering his congressional bid earlier this week.
Mr. Morgan’s announcement comes on the same morning Mr. Rangel is giving his first public appearance following more than two months where he was absent from Congress and his district while dealing with what his staff described as a serious back injury. Though he had kind words for his former boss throughout his ultimately aborted campaign, Mr. Morgan has emphasized a need for new representation after Mr. Rangel’s more than forty year reign in Upper Manhattan.
Mr. Espaillat, who would be the first congressman of Dominican descent if his campaign is successful, is the lone Latino challenger to Mr. Rangel in a district in which the Latino population has grown larger than the congressman’s African American base. So far, high profile backers are seen as having largely entered the race along racial lines with Mr. Espaillat getting endorsements from Dominican elected officials and Mr. Rangel racking up endorsements from Puerto Rican politicians. Mr. Morgan, who has worked on a variety of causes in the Central Harlem neighborhood that is the geographic heart of Mr. Rangel’s base, is the first visible black community leader to endorse Mr. Espaillat.