Earlier today, Congressman Charlie Rangel’s reelection campaign touted the support he received from his colleague in the U.S. House, Rep. José Serrano. The announcement, while not a surprise, is the latest chapter in an endorsement war going on between Mr. Rangel and one of his main challengers, State Senator Adriano Espaillat.
“I support Congressman Rangel because he has fought for our community with every fiber of his being,” Mr. Serrano said in a statement that stressed his status as “the most senior Member of Congress of Puerto Rican descent.” Mr. Espaillat is of Dominican descent and the incumbent’s campaign has previously emphasized its support among Puerto Rican elected officials.
Mr. Rangel’s district changed somewhat in redistricting, losing some parts of its Uptown base in exchange for new territory in the Bronx. Many observers believe the Bronx will be key battleground territory as the voters there have never voted for Mr. Rangel before. About 12% of the new district was previously represented by Mr. Serrano.
Mr. Espaillat has rolled out plenty of endorsements of his own, most recently Bronx City Councilman Oliver Koppell.
Meanwhile, another prominent candidate in the race, Clyde Williams, told The Politicker earlier this afternoon that he’s skeptical of the constant endorsement announcements and would like to refocus the discussion on policy. More on that later.