Reverend challenges Rangel
A prominent Harlem reverend has begun fundraising to challenge incumbent Charles Rangel for the 13th Congressional District seat in the Democratic primary contest set for later this year.
Rev. Michael Walrond, who leads the First Corinthian Baptist Church, began soliciting contributions on his campaign website on Dec. 27.
“Countless Americans have grown weary of the political gridlock that has become all too common in our nation’s capital,” Rev. Walrond’s website states. “It appears that democracy is under assault, and worse, many who are among the ranks of the marginalized and vulnerable have stopped believing in our political process and system.”
Rev. Waldron was not available for interviews as of press time. Other news outlets described the candidate as a close ally of nationally prominent activist Rev. Al Sharpton.
Earlier this month, Mr. Rangel announced he would seek a 23rd term in Congress. He has represented parts of the northwest Bronx since his district was expanded outside his historic home base of Harlem starting this year.
Mr. Rangel is campaigning on a record of supporting President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party’s major priorities, but a 2010 House of Representatives censure for ethics violations increases his vulnerability to challengers.
State Sen. Adriano Espaillat, who nearly defeated Mr. Rangel in the Democratic primary in 2012, is likely to run again.
It could be a crowded contest. Another prominent Harlem reverend, the Abyssinian Baptist Church’s Calvin Butts, is also considered a possible candidate for the nomination.
Klein, Engel take on
State Senate Co-Majority Leader Jeffrey Klein and Assemblyman Dov Hikind of Brooklyn plan to propose legislation attacking a university organization that recently began a boycott of Israel.
The law would give New York colleges and universities 30 days to withdraw from the American Studies Association (ASA), which started the boycott of Israeli academic institutions on Dec. 4. New York academic organizations that do not meet the deadline would lose their state funding.