State Senator Adriano Espaillat has learned a hard lesson.
He may have come razor close twice before, but it has to be a bitter pill of why it's so tough to beat an incumbent.
The District may have been redrawn which favors Espaillat with Latino voters, but Rangel support is deeply entrenched, and dare I say it, was more energized.
Translation, the argument to replace Rangel at the end of the day fell short of the mark. Political Consultant Michael Tobman made this very accurate point on RNN/FIOS TV, that would ultimately decide this race. "Rangel is likely to get more Hispanic support than Espallillat will get African American Support.
The second part of Tobman's statement is the key.
Rangel does very well with his old Harlem base, and Espallillat, while he carries the more heavily Dominican areas of Upper Manhattan, Espallillat couldn't crack Rangel's African-American Support. In the end, that was the challenge for Espallillat, and it's one he didn't met.
What is the Perfect illustration?
All Mr. Espallillat had to do Primary Day was walk around the populated areas of the Apollo Theatre on 125th St, or go to Sylvia's restaurant, the popular Harlem eatery to witness first hand, the challenge he was up against with the voters.
I interviewed one Harlem Resident randomly selected, Charles Farrell, and he was eating his barbecue shrimp lunch at Sylvia's Restaurant.
I think it's going to be close... As close as it was a couple of years ago. I kind of think that Charlie Rangel will prevail, just given some of the sentiment that I have seen swelling in the past few days, to give him that one last term, one more term. He's done I think a great job, as a congressman. He's had a meaningful impact in his district and in the House. He's at a point where I think it's time for new blood to come in there, and I think that Adiano Espallillat would make a fine congressman.
It's a point I heard over and over in Harlem. The district needs no blood, but we will stick with the guy we know... at least for what he has said will be his final term.
Another Harlem Resident, we randomly selected to interview, Beverly Robinson, who is a member of her Choir at Memorial Baptist Church on W 115th street told us how the district has changed over the last 40 years.
The district changed because of the Empowerment money that we got. All of the buildings were abandoned, landlords just left them. When we got that empowerment money, then you seen developers coming in, of course, they raised the rent, but developers came in, you got bigger stores, but we lost the mom and pops, and that changed the community because the community had a lot of mom and pops stores, and businesses.
I ask you, at the end of the day, was there a compelling narrative of why not Rangel one more time?
The answer is no.
His victory was razor thin, but voters bought the argument from the charismatic Rangel of his long time tenure was a net gain. Espallillat and the other candidates could not find an effective way to spin the debate and counter it was time for the Congressman who replaced legendary Adam Clayton Powell, yes Adam Clayton Powell, back in 1970, to go.