NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — State Sen. Adriano Espaillat announced his intent to run for Congress Thursday in an attempt to oust Harlem Rep. Charles Rangel.
As 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reported, the announcement was made at the Palace Theater as the crowd cheered “going with you” in Spanish.
Espaillat said people in the Upper Manhattan and South Bronx communities must be heard in Washington.
“That we’re able to collectively come together and get one voice,” Espaillat said to an excited crowd. “And yes people want to see change. They want to see new, fresh ideas that will lead us in the right direction.”
Espaillat told Papa he wants to help the people of the 13th Congressional District overcome common obstacles: health issues, affordable housing and immigration road blocks.
“They’re not Dominican issues, they’re not Puerto Rican issues, they’re not black or white or Asian issues. They impact the entire district,” Espaillat said.
The senator will be challenging longtime incumbent Rep. Rangel for the second time. Espaillat lost last time by only 1,000 votes, Papa reported.
Espaillat said he’s confident the results this time will be different.
“I’ll come back here on June 25 and I will show you that I will be 20 pounds lighter and I will have gone through three pairs of shoes,” Espaillat said.
Rangel’s camp released a statement following the announcement that said he welcomes challengers to the race and that he looks forward to a spirited debate.
“The reason Congressman Rangel is running for re-election is because he is the best person to keep fighting for the people of the 13th Congressional District. He’s not done pushing for living wages and unemployment insurance, working to pass real immigration reform, fighting for more affordable housing and standing up for veterans,” the statement said. “When it comes to protecting the working families of upper Manhattan and the Bronx, Congressman Rangel is out there raising hell. He has the proven record and is the clear choice. Working with President Obama and Mayor de Blasio, there is nobody who can do more for the families of the 13th district to deliver the progressive results we need.”
Espaillat said Rangel has failed to build consensus and that his goal is to be united, not divided.
“We feel that we’re fighting these issues alone. That we don’t have a partner in Washington,” Espaillat said.