Sunday, March 11, 2012

Espaillat to consider running for Congress (UPDATE)

Congressman Espaillat?
Today, state Sen. Adriano Espaillat will announce the formation of an exploratory committee to run for Congress, a source close to Espaillat told Bronx Press Politics.

According to the most recent draft of redistricting maps, that could mean Espaillat could run against Rep. Charlie Rangel in the 13th Congressional district (currently the 15th). According to those maps, the district would include Washington Heights, Inwood and parts of the west Bronx. It would be 55 percent Hispanic, 12 percent non-Hispanic white and 27 percent non-Hispanic black, which would shape up nicely for a Latino candidate to challenge the incumbent.

It should be noted that a new draft of the Congressional maps could alter the districts, and therefore the races, in northern Manhattan.

The largest problem for Espaillat's campaign, aside from unseating an incumbent, would be for multiple Hispanic candidates to run, diluting the voting bloc and giving Rangel the easy road to victory.

Rangel, who has represented the 15th Congressional district since 1971, is the third-longest currently serving member of the House of Representatives.

Espaillat would make history with a win against any opponent, becoming the first Dominican-American in Congress if he were to win in November. 

Espaillat released the following statement: 

"This is a historic opportunity for the State of New York to send a clear and unmistakable message that the growth of the Latino community demands that our government reflect our diversity.  

“I have been privileged to serve in the NYS Assembly for 14 years and in the Senate for the last two years. Throughout my career in public service, I have advocated for our community to be represented at the highest levels of government.  We are forming a committee that will explore the possibilities of what a predominantly Latino district would look like and whether there is support for a candidate who represents us. 

“While it’s premature to target one particular district, given the fact that final district lines have not been settled, launching this exploratory committee is an important step in making sure we are ready, when the final district lines are established.”

Espaillaat's exploratory committee is comprised of the following individuals:

Ø  Jeff Korek, Esq
Ø  Rev. Calvin Butts, III
Ø  Ralina Cardona
Ø  Kim Ramos, Esq
Ø  Hon. Maria Luna
Ø  Ricardo Oquendo, Esq
Ø  Jefrey Pollock

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