Charlie Rangel Hangs On to Narrow Fundraising Lead Over Challengers

By Jill Colvin on June 18, 2012 11:54am 

Rep. Charlie Rangel and State Sen. Adriano Espaillat faced off during a debate last week that focused on ethics and Washington.
Rep. Charlie Rangel and State Sen. Adriano Espaillat faced off during a debate last week that focused on ethics and Washington.
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DNAinfo/Jill Colvin

UPPER MANHATTAN — Long-time incumbent Rep. Charlie Rangel held on to a narrow fundraising lead against his chief competitors during the final stretch of a primary to defend his seat, drumming up just $20,000 more than top rival Adriano Espaillat.

Rangel raised slightly less than $290,000 dollars between April 1 and June 6, according to the latest campaign finance documents filed with the Federal Election Commission — slightly ahead of State Sen. Adriano Espaillat, who brought in more than $270,000 over the same period, the filings show.

Still, Rangel maintains a significant money advantage over the competition, with $179,000 cash left in his coffers, versus $73,000 left in Espaillat's, after factoring in expenses such as salaries, printing flyers and buying ads.

Of the $290,000 Rangel raised, $105,000 came from Political Action Committees, including the Amalgamated Transit Union and other pols, such as Rep. Carolyn Maloney and fellow members of the Congressional Black Caucus.

He also received funding from Con-Edison, General Electric and Lockheed Martin, CFE records show.

Espaillat, who is vying to become the nation's first Dominican-American Congressman, received contributions from several prominent contributors, included Brooklyn State Sen. John Sampson, the Democratic conference leader in Albanym, Norman Seabrook, president of the city's correction officers’ union, and several big players in the city's livery cab industry.

Meanwhile, Clyde Williams, the former head of the Democratic National Committee, who received the coveted endorsement of the New York Times Saturday, raised $73,000 during the latest fundraising period — just half the amount he was able to raise during the first three months of the year, the filings show.

But thanks to conservative spending, Williams still has $116,000 left in his piggy bank, putting him on competitive footing going into the home stretch of the June 26th primary for the newly redrawn district, which is now majority Hispanic and stretches into the Bronx.

Clyde Williams shakes hands with a woman concerned about local schools as supporter Viveca White looks on.
Clyde Williams shakes hands with a woman concerned about local schools as supporter Viveca White looks on.
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DNAinfo/Jeff Mays

Both Espaillat and Williams, whose money came exclusively from individual donors, have also been boosted by outside spending from two groups, the Campaign for Primary Accountability, which is targeting incumbents, and the Campaign for Our Future.

Rangel’s fundraising efforts were stalled early in the campaign by a severe back injury that forced him to remain out of the public spotlight for more than two months.

Businesswoman Joyce Johnson, and former made model Craig Schley, the other two candidates in the race, have yet to report contributions.

Full disclosure: The owner of DNAinfo.com, Joe Ricketts, made a contribution to the Campaign for Primary Accountability in 2011.

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