Rep. Charles Rangel (D.-N.Y.) emerged with a clear victory in a Sept. 14 primary election contest, defeating state Assemblyman Adam Clayton Powell IV and four other challengers as he prepares to defend himself against more than a dozen ethics charges filed against him earlier this summer.
“This isn’t a win for Charlie Rangel, this is our community’s win, this is all of you that spoke,” Rangel told supporters as he awaited poll results, according to The Wall Street Journal. By Sept. 15, with 97 percent of the vote tallied, Rangel won 51 percent of the vote to 23 percent for Powell, a son of Rev. Adam Clayton Powell, legendary occupant of the seat from 1945 to 1971.
Despite the win, Rangel still faces a hearing on 13 charges filed against him by the House ethics committee. The charges relate to Rangel’s alleged solicitation of donors for a center named in his honor at the City College of New York, as well as allegations of financial impropriety that include inaccurate financial disclosures and the renting of an apartment unit for campaign purposes.
Rangel stepped aside as House Ways and Means Committee chairman in March when the panel, officially known as the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, said he broke rules by accepting corporate-sponsored travel, but he’s remained defiant against calls for him to step down from his congressional seat, including one made by President Obama.
“I don’t know why the president of these great United States would say something like that. I guess he believes 80 is old,” Rangel told The Politico.
No date has been set for Rangel’s ethics trial. According to media reports, Republicans want to stage the high-profile trials of Rangel and fellow Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters of California before November’s mid-term general elections. Democrats are hoping to push it back to after the general election in November or later.