Political Arena

Espaillat could beat Rangel in fundraising


Campaign finance disclosures show state Sen. Adriano Espaillat could be poised to outspend Congressman Charlie Rangel in the Democratic primary race for the 13th district seat.

Mr. Rangel’s Jan. 30 disclosure to the Federal Election Commission shows $211,461 in cash on hand. Mr. Espaillat’s records show $79,602 in cash on hand. But several factors suggest Mr. Espaillat, who nearly won the 2012 Democratic primary against Mr. Rangel, is on track to raise more funds.

Mr. Rangel went into the 2012 primary with significantly more funds — $338,053 in cash on hand, according to an Oct. 2011 filing — than he is bringing to this year’s contest. Prospective donors might be hedging their bets this time around.

Funds in Mr. Espaillat’s Jan. 30 disclosure came with the candidate yet to officially declare his candidacy. After he recently hired a major fundraising group, called Bedford Grove, he stands to rake in much more.

Lastly, Mr. Rangel’s inability to overturn a 2010 congressional censure for ethics violations continues to drain his campaign war chest. In the latest twist, his lawyer was barred from making appeals since the attorney is not a member of the bar in Washington, D.C., where the proceedings have taken place.

All of that spells an uphill battle for Mr. Rangel.

Meanwhile, another challenger, Harlem Rev. Michael Walrond, reported raising $82,965 between October and December 2013 in his recent filings. Mr. Walrond — who has worked closely with Rev. Al Sharpton and might receive his endorsement — stands to divide African Americans’ votes, potentially paving the way for Mr. Espaillat to call on his base of Latino supporters to clinch the June primary.

Still, it is too early in the year to count out a veteran politician like Mr. Rangel.

Rodriguez eyes hit-and-run data

District 10 Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez used the year’s first meeting of the Transportation Committee that he chairs to pass an override of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s ban on data about hit-and-run accidents.

Around the end of last year, Mr. Bloomberg vetoed a City Council bill requiring the NYPD to issue reports on traffic accidents causing severe injuries or death.

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