In this morning’s Daily News, columnist Juan Gonzalez offers his threat assessment of the potential Rangel-Espaillat election tangle.
State Sen. Adriano Espaillat will announce next week that he is challenging U.S. Rep. Charlie Rangel in a June primary for Harlem’s congressional seat.
Such a contest could roil the city’s ethnic and racial politics more than any election in the past quarter-century — but not the way most people expect.
Rangel, after all, is the dean of New York’s congressional delegation and has been an iconic figure in the city’s African-American community for decades .
Gonzalez writes that the race will not break down solely along black-Latino lines. He points to the Puerto Rican-Dominican political fissure.
Several key Puerto Rican leaders within the congressional district have already thrown their support to Rangel. They include State Sen. Jose Serrano Jr. and Assemblyman Roberto Rodriguez of East Harlem, as well as Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Key Dominican leaders like City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez of Washington Heights and Nelson Castro of the West Bronx are backing Espaillat.
Some key Dominican leaders, such as Assemblyman Guillermo Linares, are staying on the sidelines, while others like district leader and Democratic state committeewoman Maria Luna are backing Rep. Rangel.
“I’m backing Charlie because he has been good to our community, and if Adriano were to replace him, it won’t make that much difference in Washington.”
Gonzalez ends his column with Harlem Sen. Bill Perkins — a frequent critic of the Harlem political establishment — expressing his fear of a “switcheroo.” Perkins refers to popular conspiracy theory that has Rangel designating Perkins nemesis Assemblyman Keith Wright as his successor after winning the primary election.
Unlike, Gonzalez, I don’t think this one race will imperil future black-Hispanic political alliances. In politics, there are neither permanent enemies nor permanent friends. There are only mutual opportunities.
Read the entire article – State Sen. Adriano Espaillat poses a true threat to Rep. Charlie Rangel in June primary – NY Daily News.
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