Assemb. Adam Clayton Powell IV announced Monday he would seek the seat his father once held and challenge veteran Rep. Charles Rangel, who stepped down last month as chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee amid ethics charges.
Powell, 47, said he honored Rangel's service but that it was time for a new leader for the 15th District, which covers much of Harlem and the Upper West Side. "Everyone knows change is coming. The question is when?" Powell said at a Harlem news conference.
Powell's father, the late Adam Clayton Powell Jr., represented the district from 1944 until 1970. He was removed from office in 1967 amid allegations he had misused congressional funds. He won the seat again in 1968 but lost to Rangel in 1970.
Rangel relinquished his Ways and Means chairmanship in March after being admonished for taking corporate trips to the Caribbean in violation of House rules. Rangel said he was stepping aside temporarily, but his situation helped draw a challenge from Powell and at least one other candidate, Vincent Morgan, 40, a banker who once worked for Rangel.
The younger Powell, who lost a primary challenge to Rangel in 1994, also claimed that Rangel, if re-elected, would resign his seat and appoint a successor. But Rangel's campaign manager, Kevin Wardally, noted that under state law, the governor would call a special election if there is a vacancy.
Powell was arrested in 2008 on charges of driving while intoxicated. He was acquitted last month but found guilty on a lesser charge of driving while ability impaired.
The primary is Sept. 14.