This morning, Capital NY’s Azi Paybaragh wrote an insightful analysis of the Espaillat-Rangel political tangle.
Espaillat’s decision to run against Rangel sets up a contest that many of New York’s black and Latino leaders have said they hoped to avoid, and seems to represent at least a temporary step backward in the construction of a long-dreamed-of, elusive alliance between New York City’s black and Latino political establishments.
This neatly comprehensive piece includes CUNY Professor Andrew Beveridge’s analysis of the citizen voting age population (CVAP) in NY-23. Beveridge points out that only district Hispanics comprise 45% of those residents eligible to vote. And I suspect many of those eligible voters are unregistered and many who are registered are not Dominicans.
State Assemblyman Guillermo Linares (who covets Espaillat’s senate seat) hinted at voter turnout among Dominicans being key.
“The question is what percentage is Dominican and registered to vote,” Assemblyman Guillermo Linares, who became the first Dominican elected official anywhere in the United States when he was elected to the Council in 1991, said in an interview last week. “I know that the tendency for naturalized citizens to participate and be registered and go out and vote is higher than those who have been here and have not gone through that process. But the question is … what percentage within the district will come out and participate?”
I think we can expect to see both campaigns to court the white vote (17% CVAP), particularly the Jewish vote in Inwood. Interestingly, Espaillat is believed to have pledged to support Mark Levine, a district leader, for his senate seat if he wins.
Espaillat has been to Israel a few times over the years recently. But congressman Rangel is no slouch. Once each campaign has identified their voters, it’s all GOTV in this kind of primary. At this point, I don’t think the campaigns of Joyce Johnson, Clyde Williams and Vincent Morgan combined will have a GOTV operation on par with their leading rivals.
Paybaragh ends his piece on an upbeat note. He gives the last word to Basil Smikle, a veteran political operative.
“Is it black people leading black people? Or is it more black individuals in positions of power leading everybody? Leading across race, leading across ethnicity, building multiracial, multiethnic coalitions, not just representing black people. And I think that’s really where the conversation will go.”
Paybaragh ends his piece on an upbeat note. The Espaillat-Rangel fight will not end in a nuclear winter. The devastation visited upon Hiroshima and Nagasaki led to decades of anti-nuclear campaigns, a peaceful and prosperous Japan, and eventually globalized prosperity. Everyone will learn from the lessons of this political fight.