Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.), a 42-year veteran of the House who announced his bid for reelection in New York’s 13th Congressional District in December, faces a Democratic primary challenger who lives outside his contested Harlem district, according to NY1.
Pastor Michael Walrond, who filed to run against Rangel in October, listed Edgewater, N.J., as his current residence on his FEC Statement of Candidacy form -- an address not only outside the 13th District, but out of New York state entirely.
Walrond, a close ally to Rev. Al Sharpton, told NY1 that he plans on moving from his N.J. rental home to Harlem. A Walrond spokesperson emphasized the pastor’s “tireless work” for Harlem, dismissing concerns over the candidate’s current place of residence, according to NY1.
According to federal regulations, Walrond is not required to reside in the state while he campaigns for the seat; congressional candidates must only live in the state they run for once they have been elected to represent the region.
Rangel, who is 83 years old and the third-longest serving member of the current House of Representatives, also faces a likely primary challenge from state Sen. Adriano Espaillat (D), who lost by a narrow 2 percent in 2012’s contentious primary battle.
Rangel’s bid is also marred by a December U.S. District Court ruling dismissing his lawsuit to overturn a 2010 House censure of him for various ethics violations, including allegations that he failed to pay all his taxes, produced inaccurate financial disclosures, and accepted favors and benefits from corporate donors.
“He's somebody who's at the end of his career," President Barack Obama told Katie Couric during a CBS interview after Rangel’s alleged ethical improprieties were exposed in 2010. “I'm sure that what he wants is to be able to end his career with dignity. And my hope is that it happens."