Rangel to seek 23rd term, may face challenger

Congressman Charles Rangel from the 13th Congressional District

Congressman Charles Rangel from the 13th Congressional District photographed along 5th Avenue in Manhattan during the Celebrate Israel Parade. (Credit: Steven Sunshine)

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Stressing his vigor, Harlem Rep. Charles Rangel, 83, announced Thursday that he would seek a 23rd term next year to help President Barack Obama achieve his top priorities, from reforming immigration to making the Affordable Care Act a success.

"All the doctors I've had haven't said anything except that I'm fired up and ready to go," the Harlem Democrat told reporters at a news conference.

The dean of New York's delegation nearly lost his seat two years ago in a primary challenge from state Sen. Adriano Espaillat (D-Washington Heights). In 2010, the House censured Rangel for ethics violations, including failing to report hundreds of thousands of dollars in income and assets.

"The president needs an ally who commands the attention of Congress when he speaks," Rangel added in a statement.

He also vowed to fight to create jobs, extend unemployment benefits, and safeguard food stamps.

Rangel could face a rematch with Espaillat, who said in a statement: "Today, as it was two years ago, we need new energy, new leadership and a renewed sense of urgency."

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