The two have a long history. Not only did Mr. Rangel defeat Mr. Powell’s father in 1970 to win his seat in Congress–a race that pitted a longtime incumbent against a young upstart that has reminds many of Mr. Rangel’s current run against State Senator Adriano Espaillat–but the Assemblyman challenged Mr. Rangel twice, once in 1994 and again in 2010.
The two have had a long and contentious history, with Mr. Rangel once saying of Mr. Powell: “I think God has really blessed him with his dad’s good’s looks, his dad’s name, and then God gave up on him.”
For his part, Mr. Powell has softened a bit on his one-time rival, promising that he wouldn’t run against him a third time since he was too well-liked in Harlem. Mr. Powell may have his own motivations however: A win by Mr. Espaillat would likely shut Mr. Powell out of office for years to come.