The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

Charlie Rangel Votes, But Isn't on the Ballot For the First Time Since 1971

 Charles Rangel casts his last vote as Congressman in Harlem, the first time in decades he is not on the ballot.
Charles Rangel casts his last vote as Congressman in Harlem, the first time in decades he is not on the ballot.
View Full Caption
DNAinfo/Dartunorro Clark

HARLEM — For the first time in decades, uptown voters went to the ballots Tuesday to select somebody other than Rep. Charles Rangel for Congress.

Nine Democrats are running to replace the prominent legislator in the district which includes Harlem, Morningside Heights, a small portion of the Upper West Side, Washington Heights, Inwood and several neighborhoods in the The Bronx.

The candidates are State Sen. Adriano Espaillat, Manhattan Assemblymen Keith Wright and Guillermo Linares, former President Obama aide Clyde Williams, former Ambassador Suzan Johnson Cook, first-time candidate Michael Gallagher, former Assemblyman Adam Clayton Powell IV, Sam Sloan and Yohanny Caceres.

Rangel, flanked by his wife, Alma, and Wright, his chosen successor, spoke briefly to reporters before entering P.S. 175 in Harlem early Tuesday morning to cast his vote.

This was also the first time he was not listed on the ballot in his 23 terms in Congress.

“This is the first time in 46 years I couldn’t find my name,” Rangel, who was first elected to Congress in 1971, said after casting his vote. “Even though I’m leaving Congress, you can bet your life I’m not leaving politics.”

Rangel told reporters that he will do “all he can” to make sure that Wright is prepared to take his place in Congress should he win Tuesday’s primary and the General Election in November.

Rangel also said he would make sure Wright would make the needed connections with key Congressional leadership.

“He’s in a very, very fortunate position,” Rangel said.

At some Harlem polling sites, there was tepid turnout among voters, site coordinators said, but also said that is to be expected in Congressional primary elections.

“We had a little bit of a stream, but it’s been steady,” said Shelly Meyers, a voting site coordinator at P.S. 7 in East Harlem.

“We don’t expect it to be very busy but we expect people to exercise their right."

Sharon Lessington, a voting site coordinator at the Northern Manhattan Nursing and Rehab Center on 125th Street in East Harlem, said there were about 20 people who voted just before noon Tuesday. 

“They just bring people from inside the (center),” she said. “It’s been really slow.”

Voter Maria Diaz, a 61-year-old Harlem resident who voted at P.S. 7, said she backed Wright because “he’s for us” and “he’s going to do more for the area.”

Diaz said more jobs and senior programs were among her key issues in casting her ballot for the assemblyman.