The incumbent, Rep. Charles Rangel, is the third longest serving member of the House of the Representatives and is the dean of New York’s congressional delegation. He served the United States in the Korean War and has been one of the most prominent African-American elected officials in the country since first taking office in 1971.
What you should know
In 2008, The New York Times reported Mr. Rangel was using one of his four rent-stabilized apartments in Harlem as a campaign office, violating state and city laws that require the apartments to be used as residences only.
Mr. Rangel was later censured by his colleagues in the House — by a vote of 333-79 — for misusing the apartment and for using his office to preserve a tax loophole. The loophole benefited an oil-drilling company during the same period that the company’s executive pledged to give $1 million to build the Charles B. Rangel School of Public Service at City College of New York.
As a result of the censuure, Mr. Rangel lost his post as the head of the influential House Committee on Ways and Means. Mr. Rangel still denies any wrongdoing.
Aside from scandal, Mr. Rangel, 83, has had recent health issues. He did not vote on a single bill in the House between Feb. 9 and May 7 while he was recovering from a back injury.
What about the Bronx?
During the redistricting process, Mr. Rangel said he did not want the Bronx drawn into his district and he did not show up to either of the two debates held in the borough.
During a recent NY 1 Debate, Mr. Rangel answered a question about what he would do for the Bronx by saying: “Since I went up [to the Bronx], it is one of the most exciting things that’s ever happened to me. I cannot distinguish in walking up and down the streets from being in the 15th Congressional District. I got my family up there. I’ve got friends and relatives up there.”
Who wants him to win?
Mr. Rangel has by far the most endorsements in the race. Key elected officials from across the city have backed his bid for reelection, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Speaker Christine Quinn, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., many of his colleagues in Congress, many major unions and a handful of New York state legislators.
“You’re not taking a chance with me. I’ve been there,” Mr. Rangel said to members of the Ben Franklin Reform Democratic Club on May 29.