After 42 years in Congress and at 82 years old, some said it was time for Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) to retire. The question was: Could Rangel overcome an ethics battle, age, a redrawn district and a health scare to return to Capitol Hill in 2013?
The answer is yes. His most formidable challenger, popular State Senator Adriano Espaillat, would not be able to turn the page on Rangel. The political ground game of the New York veteran would prove to be to much for the popular State Senator — even on a June primary night featuring a low turnout.
“I cannot find words … I am so grateful for the support,” said Rangel at his campaign victory party.
Rangel, a much loved veteran Congressman from Harlem, will continue in Congress even though his district now reflects the growing political strength and power of the Hispanic community.
Forty-two years ago Rangel defeated legendary Harlem Congressman Adam Clayton Powell in a primary. Though Rangel was censured in 2010, his ethics troubles would appear to have not shaken the faith of his constituents. He was re-elected by a wide margin in 2010 and has won again decisively tonight.
LAUREN VICTORIA BURKE, Politic365 Managing Editor, publishes the blog Crewof42 on the Congressional Black Caucus. She can be heard every Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET on WMCS 1290 in Milwaukee on Earl Ingram’s show The Evening Rush as well as on WPFW 89.3 every Friday at 6:30 p.m. and occasionally on WHUR 96.3 in Washington DC. Ms. Burke is a former employee of USA Today, ABC News and Associated Press. You can e-mail her at LBurke007@gmail.com follow her on twitter at @crewof42.