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Is today's Democratic primary the last hurrah for Rep. Charles Rangel?

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Nevertheless, he remains a force.

Last Friday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) of New York gave Rangel his endorsement, on the basis of the many years he has represented the district.

“The endorsement suggests he still has some clout,” says Lee Miringoff, director of polling at the Marist Institute of Public Opinion in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. “Cuomo provides some important credentialization.”

Rangel also showed he still has the political skill to minimize setbacks when he commented to the television cameras last Friday about The New York Times endorsement of Clyde Williams, a former aid to President Bill Clinton: “Just tell me how the editorial board of The New York Times could say that Clyde Williams would make a better representative of my district, my city, my country,” he intoned, emphasizing the word “my” each time.

Nevertheless, Rangel will need all the help he can get. In December 2010, he was censured for 11 congressional ethics violations, including failing to pay taxes on a property he owned and improperly soliciting millions of dollars of corporate donations for the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at the City College of New York.

The New York legislature has also redistricted Rangel’s turf, resulting in many more Hispanic voters than African-Americans. As a result, Rangel’s main opponent is Adriano Espaillat, a Dominican-American.

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