With Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) digging in and preparing to fight 13 alleged House ethics violations, his leading Democratic rival is ramping up the rhetoric ahead of the September primary. State Assemblyman Adam Clayton Powell IV (D) said Thursday that if Rangel won't resign with dignity, "The community will take him out."
With leaders in Harlem and throughout New York City largely coalescing around Rangel, Powell has little choice but to up the pressure.
Despite the ethical cloud surrounding the 80-year-old congressman, most of the state's Democratic elite showed up at his public birthday bash last week.
Rangel's congressional district, which includes all of Harlem and the Upper West Side of Manhattan, has backed Rangel overwhelmingly since he first won the seat by ousting Powell's father in 1970.
Powell is one of four Democrats challenging Rangel in the Sept. 14 primary.