Although there is some confusion, the Associated Press reported yesterday that Rep. Charlie Rangel’s reelection margin over Adriano Espaillat had shrunk all the way down to 2.8% with still more precincts left to report. And, Mr. Rangel said multiple times last night, he really doesn’t know anything about it.
“I’m not hearing anything because I’ve been on the floor, I’ve been at legislative meetings, I’ve been at caucuses,” he explained on Inside City Hall. “Quite frankly, since last night, the New York people have been dealing with the numbers, and then I have to go with my family to this picnic. So, I’m anxious to analyze what the figures mean and so long as the victory is there, I think I’ll just proceed with my present term and then see what we have to do better or whatever the situation may be.”
Mr. Rangel went on to explain that the unique timing of Tuesday’s election depressed turnout and muddled everything as it comes to discussing the specificity of the results.
“You know, last night was a very strange race,” he continued. “No one really knew why we were voting on June 26th rather than September [or] November. And we had a low turnout as we expected. How that turned out where the numbers are, I don’t know. I really don’t know yet.”
Errol Louis, the host of the show, later asked Mr. Rangel if he’s heard of any rumors of voting irregularities, causing the congressman to respond with shock.
“No! As a matter of fact you are the first person to use that language as it relates to any of the voting in New York City,” he exclaimed. “I have no clue, I read all of the newspapers and none of that kind of stuff was in it. So, no, I can’t have any exchange here. Had I known you needed answers for these types of things, I could have called New York. But they pulled me straight from the floor to be with you now.”