Sources with knowledge of the situation told The Politicker this afternoon that even though State Senator Adriano Espaillat has started circulating petitions for a potential Congressional campaign, he hasn’t made a final decision on whether or not he will seek the seat currently held by longtime Rep. Charlie Rangel.
Mr. Espaillat has been considering running for a seat in the House of Representatives since at least January, but he was initially only interested in running if a majority Latino district was created, which would have prevented him from going up against the dean of New York’s Congressional delegation, Charlie Rangel. No Latino district was created in the final maps, but our source said Mr. Espaillat was now making his decision independent of any concerns regarding Mr. Rangel.
Mr. Espaillat formed his Congressional exploratory earlier this month. Forming a committee and circulating petitions are necessary steps to mounting a campaign and, regardless of his final decision, it would make Mr. Espaillat’s road to the House far more difficult if he didn’t start laying that groundwork now.
If he does decide to run, Mr. Espaillat would be vying to become the first Congressman from the Dominican Republic. Mr. Rangel is currently in the midst of his longest absence from the House in over a decade due to what his spokeswoman, Hannah Kim, has described as a back injury. Yesterday, Ms. Kim told us Mr. Rangel is “dramatically improving” and expected “to be back in Washington in no time.”