Rangel: No Fraud Issue « Looming » In NY-13

Rep. Charlie Rangel followed up on a final concession in the NY-13 Democratic Primary by state Sen. Adriano Espaillat by appearing on Fox’s « Good Day New York » today.

Rangel started out in friendly fashion, saying he and Espaillat have a lot of work to do to mend fences between Democrats who took sides in the five-way contest. But he quickly moved on to tamp down any suggestion that he might’ve won the election because of fraud. More after the clip:

On fraud, Rangel said, « This allegation went to court and the court rejected the concept because what is looming is no evidence of it. The board chief pointed out that he or she was also Hispanic and was pretty upset to say that the something like this was going on, when there was no evidence of it. Everybody, winners and losers, ought to be after fraud and if there is any evidence of it, you can put me down because it makes the whole system that. Winners and losers as such — so when you say it’s looming in the air, it’s not looming in the air. »

More on this to come, but read on…

(Clarification: In fact, the court never heard any specifics on allegations of fraud, irregularities or voter suppression, because that hearing was supposed to take place Wednesday (or sometime after that), and now the suit is being withdrawn because of Espaillat’s concession.)

Espaillat is in the process of deciding, now that he’s bagged any further objection to the primary, whether to run again for his state Senate seat.

« What makes that a problem is that because people believed he was not running, our assemblyman for that district, [Guillermo Linares] said he would run and file petitions to run for that so-called vacant seat… At the time, I decided to support Assemblyman Linares. it was clear to me that there would be a vacant seat. [Espaillat] made it clear that he was not going to run for that seat. So there was an endorsement as the assemblyman endorsed me at the press conference and I endorsed him. »

And as to the less-near future, « Well, I used to say because my youthful 82 years old, that at my age I don’t buy green bananas, and I cannot possibly talk about what’s going to happen over two years from now. It suffices to say that this election is no sampling of my popularity or lack of the support that Espaillat has, because less than 5% of the Congressional district that is able to participate participated. It had a lot to do with the urgency in which new york state had to compete to make certain that we had our men and women in uniform able to participate. so we have very short notice and only a handful of people participated…

« The support that [Espaillat] got from the voters, notwithstanding the very small sampling, is not one that should be — the fact that it was a closer race than I ever expected, and the fact that outside money came into the race against me is the fact we will have to consider but nobody can discount the fact that he has earned the right to be considered — not at the exclusion of other people — as a candidate for whatever office he might seek. »

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