Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Predictions in the Rangel Race


By Robert Press

Before we make our prediction as to who will win the 13th C.D. race, and just how we feel the candidates will finish, first we hope that if you live in the 13th Congressional District you will go to your local poll site on Tuesday June 26th to vote for the candidate of your choice.

This year redistricting for congress was not done by the state legislature, but by a federal Judge at the last minute. The federal Primary election is not being held on the same day as the state legislature elections, but a month and a half earlier on June 26th. The state Primary election will take place on Thursday September 13th due to that Tuesday is 9/11/2012. That has allowed for some state legislators to be able to run for a congressional seat, and then their old state seat if they are not elected to congress if they choose to. That is possible as the end of petition collecting time for the state primary is July 10th two weeks after the federal primary elections. In fact there are a few current congressional candidates statewide that are currently state elected officials, as is the case in the 13th C.D.

The race for the 13th C.D. has turned ugly between the two leading candidates as to a question of a petition that was circulated by an assembly candidate that had 13th C.D. candidate Adriano Espaillat on it for his current state senate seat. When he was seeking the endorsement of the Ben Franklin Democratic Club of the 81st Assembly District, candidate Espaillat said that he was only going to run for the 13th Congressional seat and not for his old senate seat if he some how was to loose the congressional election. We received an e-mail copy of the petition in question, and spoke to the campaign manager for candidate Espaillat who said that Mr. Espaillat did not authorize his name to be put on the petition, and that Adriano Espaillat is running for the 13th C.D. and not the state senate. We have been told a few different tales as to how this could have happened including one that has the petition as the work of one of candidate Espaillat's opponents.

As you read this column there will be late endorsements coming in such as the New York Times for Mr. Clyde Williams (in the 2010 primary the Times endorsed Ms. Joyce Johnson), and we don't know if and for who the Post or Daily News will endorse. We are not endorsing any of the candidates, but giving our view of how the 13th C.D. vote will go. In the 2010 Democratic Primary there were 51,668 votes cast in the 15th Congressional District. Incumbent Charles Rangel received 26,101 votes according to certified results for 51 percent of the vote to win the 2010 primary. Congressman Rangel had five opponents. The second place finisher Adam Clayton Powell IV received 11,834 votes for 23 percent of the vote. Ms Joyce Johnson finished third and received 6,444 votes for 13 percent of the vote. The other three candidates split the remaining 13 percent of the vote.

Things have changed however in 2012 as 200,000, mostly Hispanic Bronx voters, were added to the new 13th Congressional District. While Mr. Rangel faces one less opponent this time around the four candidates he is facing are much stronger this year than in 2010, and we feel that it will be those of the 200,000 Bronx voters in the 13th C. D. who come out to vote that will decide the winner. We do not expect any of the five candidates to receive close to 50 percent of the vote, and the winner should come in with less than 40 percent of the vote.

Our crystal ball prediction in the 13th C.D. Democratic Primary is as follows. Mr. Craig Schley who ran in the 2010 general election on the Independence Party line and not in the Democratic Primary in 2010 will come in fifth place with up to 8 percent of the vote. Ms. Joyce Johnson has lost some of her luster from 2010 (including the endorsement of the New York Times), and in 2012 will garner less than 10 percent of the vote. Any of the remaining three candidates could win this race, but we see Mr. Clyde Williams coming in third with between 15 and 19 percent of the vote. That leaves close to 65 percent of the vote for Congressman Rangel and Senator Espaillat to split. Our crystal ball kept changing here, but when we asked it for the final tally and the winner it came up 36 percent for the new Congressman Adriano Espaillat and 29 percent for Mr. Charlie Rangel. Our crystal ball also had a message for Manhattan Democratic County Leader Assemblyman Keith Wright. The message for Mr. Wright was that next time you should make sure that there is more than one Latino in the race to split the Latino vote if you want to win the seat. Our crystal ball says that you have such a candidate.

This column is the opinion of the writer and not necessarily that of this newspaper. If you have any comments about this column or would like to have an event listed or covered in this column or on my blog at you can e-mail us at or call 718-644-4199 Mr. Robert Press.

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