By STEPHON JOHNSON
Amsterdam News Staff
To some, the tide of support for Rep. Charlie Rangel in his latest congressional run seemed to be turning away from him. Enter District Council 37 (DC 37) with their latest endorsement.
The largest public union in the city endorsed Rangel in his congressional run against state Sen. Adriano Espaillat and the Rev. Michael Walrond. Lillian Roberts, DC 37’s executive director, felt that Rangel’s presence is still needed in Washington.
“Our members know that Congressman Charles Rangel is an experienced legislator who’s savvy and passionate championship of issues important to workers both here and around the country has won him a 95 percent approval rating with the 1.6 million-member American Federation of State, Country and Municipal Employees, our international union,” said Roberts in a statement. “Throughout his 23 terms in office, Congressman Rangel has always aided our struggles to protect the jobs of public employees and the safety net services they provide. Going forward, we know that with him on our side, we can go a long way in our fight against income inequality and our fight for workers’ rights, affordable housing, decent wages, public education, immigration reform and more.”
Rangel received some good news in the form of an endorsement from former President Bill Clinton as well.
“Charlie has been a champion of more good jobs, successful small businesses and strong families for more than 40 years,” said Clinton in a statement. “That’s what his district and our country need now.”
Rangel appreciated the endorsement.
“President Clinton’s bold leadership created an era of real economic growth and positive change in the lives of New Yorkers and all Americans,” said Rangel in a statement. “We share a progressive vision of creating a New York that’s more affordable and equitable for everyone. I look forward to returning to Washington so I can continue making this vision a reality by fighting for better jobs, affordable housing and real reforms to our immigration laws.”
Espaillat wasn’t happy with Clinton’s endorsement, and during an appearance in WABC radio, he said that the former president and his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, were not on the “side of change.”
“The kind of support I’m seeing from voters is unprecedented,” said Espaillat. “This is going to be a slam dunk. This is going to be a big victory. As Muhammad Ali once said, it’s going to shake up the world.”
Espaillat recently received endorsements from New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer and Transit Workers Union Local 100.