Sharpton associates fund Rangel challenger
Associates of the Rev. Al Sharpton are among the donors who have contributed to the Rev. Michael Walrond, the first time congressional candidate who officially declared a challenge to Rep. Charlie Rangel last month.
Walrond, a pastor in Harlem, began raising money late last year.
He raised nearly $83,000 in the final quarter of 2013, after registering a committee in November, according to his campaign financial disclosure report. Walrond has just over $78,000 left on hand.
Walrond, a pastor at the First Corinthian Baptist Church, is the director of the Ministers Division of the National Action Network, the non-profit advocacy group Sharpton founded in 1991.
Tamika Mallory, the former executive director of the N.A.N., donated $1,000 on December 31, 2013. A spokesperson for N.A.N. said Mallory left her position at the group on August 28, 2013. (She lists her occupation as "unemployed" on the campaign filing.)
Rev. W. Franklyn Richardson, chairman of the board for N.A.N., donated $2,600 on December 30, 2013.
Walrond’s entrance scrambles an expected re-match between Rangel and State Senator Adriano Espaillat, who nearly beat Rangel in 2012 and has also been quietly raising for a run. Walrond's candidacy could potentially peel away black votes from Rangel’s base, or perhaps cut into anti-Rangel voters who supported Espaillat last time.