NEW YORK (AP) — Congressman Charles Rangel’s trial on 13 ethics charges could take place before the Nov. 2 general election. But he goes into next week’s New York Democratic primary with a 20-to-1 financial advantage.
President Barack Obama has suggested Rangel end his career “in dignity.” But the incumbent still has support from many voters, and the state’s political elite.
Rangel will defend his seat against Adam Clayton Powell IV. It sounds like a political grudge match for the ages. Powell’s father was a legendary Harlem lawmaker ousted by Rangel 40 years ago.
Powell, who’s 48, was born in Puerto Rico and speaks fluent Spanish. He often mentions his famous pedigree on the campaign trail.
But Powell has a thin legislative record in the state Assembly, where he has served since 2001.
And he has struggled to explain personal baggage of his own.
Powell was found guilty in 2008 of driving while impaired, a misdemeanor.
He was also investigated, but not charged, in connection with two sexual assault allegations in 2004. Powell said both encounters were consensual.
One involved a 19-year-old legislative intern in Albany. The other involved a woman in Manhattan.
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