A Rangel ally says the problem with the new district is about the successors, not the incumbent
Assemblyman Herman (Denny) Farrell of Harlem expands on his earlier comments about the politics of redrawing Rep. Charlie Rangel's district, which now extends into the Bronx and is more than half Latino.
“We were never concerned about whether he could get elected or not," said Farrell, a longtime Rangel ally, to the Columbia Spectator. "The issue was about the next person who could come in—if you didn’t shift the district, you would make it harder for [subsequent] African-American candidates."
Basil Smikle, a political consultant and a professed admirer of Rangel's, told me in an interview about the new district that the prospect of someone other than an African-American congress member representing Harlem prompts an existential question about the very meaning of black politics in America.
John Eligon had a piece on this in the Times that's worth reading, too.