Earlier this evening, conservative Christian Pastor Erick Salgado’s campaign announced a breakfast event for his Democratic mayoral bid tomorrow in East Harlem that would feature “community leaders … rallying support for Erick Salgado.” The event’s press release claimed two local Democratic officials, veteran Congressman Charlie Rangel and Assemblyman Robert Rodriguez, would “be in attendance.” However, Hannah Kim, Mr. Rangel’s spokeswoman, told Politicker the congressman has no plans to attend the breakfast and isn’t even aware of Mr. Salgado.
“The Congressman doesn’t know anything about this candidate at all,” Ms. Kim said. “This event is not on his schedule.”
The presence of the decidedly liberal Mr. Rangel at the event would be quite interesting as Mr. Salgado is not only a long-shot, but his campaign platforms are far more socially conservative than anyone else in the mayor’s race, including the Republicans. Furthermore, the Harlem political machine headed by Mr. Rangel is expected to rally around another mayoral contender, Bill Thompson.
We reached out to Mr. Salgado’s press contact to ask about Mr. Rangel’s disavowal of the campaign’s press release. In spite of the denial from Mr. Rangel’s office, a representative for Mr. Salgado maintained the congressman was expected at the breakfast. The spokesman said he called Mr. Salgado’s campaign and they had “assurances that [Mr. Rangel] would be there from representatives of Rangel.”
As of this writing, Assemblyman Rodriguez, the other lawmaker named in Mr. Salgado’s press release, could not be reached for comment.
Update (11:50 a.m.): Mr. Rangel explained all of the confusion this morning. Apparently he had agreed to grab coffee with a friend, which turned out to be at Mr. Salgado’s event. Mr. Rangel said he had never heard of Mr. Salgado before.