NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) once again traded barbs with Democratic primary opponent state Sen. Adriano Espaillat on Friday – with Rangel saying Espaillat has “no record,” and Espaillat telling Rangel he needs to step aside.
Rangel may be 84 years old and a 22-term veteran of Congress. But apparently, his wit is still lightning quick, WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported.
On the street, a reporter asked Rangel whether has anything to apologize for in the campaign for the 13th Congressional District Democratic primary.
“Yes, I attacked his record, and I should not have,” Rangel said, “because there is no record.”
Meanwhile, Espiallat, 59, brushed off the latest poll that had him behind by 13 points, and had a message for Rangel.
“You know, it’s time to go. I mean, you had your day, and you know, it’s time to move on. You’re not effective anymore, and since you got censured, you’ve only passed one piece of legislation,” Espaillat said.
It has been an ugly campaign from the get-go. Rangel and Espaillat have leveled charges and counter charges — some true, some not. Espaillat has tried to remind people that Rangel was censured for not reporting rent from his Dominican Republic villa and improperly using congressional stationery.
It has also to some extent been a race focused on race — in a diverse and newly gentrified district.
Rangel, who is half Puerto Rican, has tried to mobilize his long-time supporters. Espaillat, who is Dominican, has tried to appeal also to white voters with his recent endorsement by the New York Times.
But it’s not a two-person race. Popular Harlem pastor Michael Walrond is running a vigorous campaign.
“I embody real transformational change,” Walrond said.
Also on the ballot is Yolanda Garcia, a Dominican-born community organizer who has raised little money, has not participated in debates and yet could pull enough votes to hurt Espaillat and help Rangel, CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reported Thursday.
At the end of the day the race will hinge on which candidate does the best job getting out the vote, Kramer reported.
Congressional primaries in the Tri-State Area are on Tuesday. In addition to the Rangel seat there are 10 more contests in New York, including three on Long Island, four in New York City and three upstate. One race bridges Long Island and Queens, Kramer reported.
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