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Vince Morgan drops out, supports Espaillat

CYRIL JOSH BARKER Amsterdam News Staff | 4/25/2012, 5:51 p.m.

Congressional candidate Vincent Morgan has pulled out of the race to succeed incumbent Rep. Charlie Rangel.

Morgan has decided to throw his support behind challeng- er State Sen. Adriano Espaillat.

A change in district lines now has Espaillat and Rangel pitted against each other to represent the new 13th Congressional District, which includes a large section of Upper Manhattan and part of the Bronx. New York lost two congressional districts after the 2010 Census.

Morgan, a community banker who worked as Rangel's campaign director

in 2002, ran unsuccessfully against Rangel during the last congressional campaign.

In a statement last week, Morgan said Espaillat has what it takes to bring the new congressional district together.

"The 13th District reects diverse communities in northern Manhattan and

it needs someone who can unite us and move our neighborhoods forward," said Morgan. "Adriano Espaillat will be that congressman."

In an interview with the AmNews, Morgan said that the redrawing of district lines is making way for a larger Hispanic vote that could lead to

Espaillat's victory. "I think it opens the door for a strong Hispanic challenger," he said.

"It has been an Hispanic district for years. We need to look at the issues of a candidate, not their race or their ethic origin. Adriano has got sup-

porters representing from other ethic groups, and he's the only one talking about having a conversation."

Morgan said that he also worked with Espaillat in the past and was impressed by his rise from the Assembly to the Senate. He also noted that changes to Washington Heights and Inwood could be replicated in Harlem if Espail- lat is elected.

Two issues that Morgan said Espaillat stands out on are job creation and the allocation of resources uptown. "When it comes to job creation, we

have to sit down and make sure that working people are protected and jobs are built around economic development," Morgan said. "We have to ensure that the allocation of resources uptown is distributed fairly and not

in the pockets of those who seem to benet others."

Along with Morgan, Espaillat received an endorsement this week from fashion designer Oscar De La Renta.

However, Rangel supporters say that while the redrawing of district lines has changed the demographics of Rangel's district, the long-time congressman will retain the seat.

At a recent press conference, former Gov. David Paterson weighed in on the race.

"Even with the huge population, we do not have a Dominican member of the House of Representatives, and one day I think Senator Espaillat will be

that person," Paterson said. "In this particular race, we'll have to let the voters decide.

"I think it is very unfortunate that--that area that could accommodate a Hispanic congressional district and an African-American congressional district based on population alone--that those communities were

thrown together, which could have caused strife but thankfully has not.