The Campaign for Primary Accountability, a super-PAC spending big to oust long-serving incumbents, will target Rep. Charles Rangel (D) in New York, the group announced Tuesday.
The group said it would make independent expenditures attacking Rangel and supporting one of his primary opponents, New York state Sen. Adriano Espaillat (D).
A new face on the political scene this cycle, the group is only getting involved in races in politically safe districts where the ouster of the incumbent is unlikely to affect the balance of power. Rangel's seat fits into that framework perfectly: The 21-term congressman represents a safe Democratic seat based in Harlem, but faces fierce primary opposition in a district that was once majority-African-American but now has more white and Hispanic voters.
Rangel, who has brushed off most primary challenges in the past, is bracing for tougher challenges this year from Espaillat and Clyde Williams, a former aide in the Clinton and Obama administrations who also served as the Democratic National Committee's political director.
Rangel's ethics violations and health issues have led some Democrats to question whether he should pursue a 22nd term. White House press secretary Jay Carney said Monday he wasn't sure whether President Obama would support Rangel's reelection, saying he needed to check with the president.
The Campaign for Primary Accountability has already claimed its first few victories in its fight to rid Congress of entrenched members who have overstayed their welcome. The group has spent more than $200,000 on certain races, and played a role in knocking off Reps. Don Manzullo (R-Ill.), Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio) and Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio).