Calling Congressman Charles Rangel someone who generations of Americans and New Yorkers look to “as a role model," New York City Comptroller John Liu announced his support for Rangel in his fight to win the June 26 Democratic primary election.
“He has served his district well. He has served our nation well,” Liu said, standing next to Rangel outside of city hall.
The two made an interesting pair. The endorser is an embattled citywide elected official whose fundraising efforts in the last two elections have drawn the FBI’s attention. The endorsee is a 40 year incumbent who was censured by his house colleagues over ethics accusations.
Yet, both have remained well liked in their respective communities—Rangel in the predominantly African-American Harlem and Liu in his Asian-American community in Flushing, Queens.
Liu focused on Rangel’s service in the Korean War, saying that the Congressman is well known in the community for his efforts.
“The Flushing community that I had the honor of represent in the city council for eight years would not be the Flushing that we know today if not for the efforts of congress Rangel in the Korean War and other veterans, and some of his comrades who did not make it back,” Liu said.
“I’m humbled with someone like John Liu with all of his responsibilities in this city would look into our race, our primary and take the time out to endorse me,” Rangel said. “John represents everything this country is all about.”
After lauding Liu and the job he’s done in office, Rangel talked positively about President Barack Obama’s agenda, saying that he wanted to return to Washington to “be part of this fight.”
“It’s hard for me to believe that there’s anyone that thinks they can do a better job here,” he said, before turning his sights on his chief rival in the primary fight, State Senator Adriano Espaillat.
“…I was disappointed and surprised that one of the people I’d just helped to get elected to the senate would find some reason to challenge me,” Rangel said. “But more important than why he would want to become Congressman is why certain people outside of our city would want to get rid of me.”
Rangel and Epaillat are also running against two other candidates for the seat, Joyce Johnson and Clyde Williams. The primary is in three weeks.