Pelosi endorses Rangel in competitive NY race

Greg Nash

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) endorsed incumbent Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) on Monday as he fights to hold his seat against a primary challenger.

“From his time in uniform during the Korean War to his leadership on the Ways and Means Committee to his passion and persistence on the House floor every day, Congressman Rangel has proven himself a courageous, innovative, dedicated public servant, who always fights for working families,” Pelosi said in a statement. 

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Rangel, who turns 84 next week, will face New York state Sen. Adriano Espaillat and Baptist minister Michael Walrond in the June 24 primary to represent Harlem and upper Manhattan.

In 2012, Rangel defeated Espaillat by fewer than 1,100 votes in the Democratic primary.

Former President Clinton, New York Sens. Charles Schumer (D) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D) and several Democratic members of New York’s congressional delegation have also endorsed Rangel, who is serving his 22nd term in Congress. 

Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, recently sent out a fundraising email garnering support for Rangel.

A poll released in late May by The New York Times and Siena College found Rangel held a 9-point lead over his Democratic challengers. 

Among likely Democratic voters, Rangel received 41 percent support compared Espaillat’s 31 percent. 

Rangel was first elected to Congress in 1970.