A former Rangel aide reconsiders a congressional challenge: ‘I’m leaving all of my options open’

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Vince Morgan. (vince morgan via flickr)
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Last October, Vince Morgan was meeting voters, raising money and sparring with other candidates looking to unseat Rep. Charles Rangel.

Earlier this week, when the New York Times and Wall Street Journal wrote about Rangel's opponents in the NY-13 congressional race, Morgan didn't even merit a mention.

"Politics is a funny thing," he told me, when I asked him about it. "You're mentioned in certain articles and not mentioned in certain articles. I've kept a relatively low profile in the last couple of weeks as I've seen this play out."

When I said it sounded like he wasn't sure about running, Morgan said, "I'm leaving all of my options open right now. I have until the 13th to submit petition signatures to get on the ballot."

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He also said, "Crowded fields benefit the incumbent."

I asked Morgan if he feared he, Rangel and two other African-American challengers would split the African-American vote and better position new entrant Adriano Espaillat, a state senator who is Dominican-American, to win with support from district's Hispanic majority.

"I want to see new leadership that represents the people of the district and I don't care what color they are," he said. "So, I want to see representation across the board that is responsive to the needs of the people."

"I've seen reports that a nuclear war is coming," Morgan said, referring to a comment made by Espaillat before he was a declared candidate. "I don't know who said that, but this rhetoric is unnecessary. We need to get into a place to talk about issues and the issues that bind us. Because I know a lot of people who are white, Hispanic and black who are looking for a job right now."