Powell Launches Campaign to Unseat Rangel

Assemblyman Adam Clayton Powell IV announced Monday he will throw his hat into the ring to challenge Rep. Charles Rangel in this Fall's upcoming Democratic primary.

The son of legendary congressman, Adam Clayton Powell Jr., told supporters it was time for new leadership in the district, which largely covers the heart of the city's Harlem neighborhood. Powell Jr. lead the district from 1944 until 1970 when he was unseated by Rangel amid rumors he had misused Congressional funds.

The primary is gearing up to be a heated, personal battle between two of Harlem's biggest rivals.

Powell is already throwing punches at Rangel -- who's currently embroiled in an ethical cloud of his own -- by claiming Rangel wants to keep his job just to give it away.

"Everybody in political circles knows that {rangel} doesn't want to fulfill another two years... I'm not making this up. Absolutely. The fact is everyone knows that the strategy is for him to be re-elected and then resign abruptly to appoint his successor. That would be totally undemocratic. The people in Northern Manhattan -- not Charlie Rangel -- {should} be the only ones who choose who the next congressman is," said Powell at a news conference in East Harlem.

However Rangel's advisor, Kevin Wardally, dismissed Powell's claims by saying Rangel intends to win and serve the community for another two years. In addition, he said Powell was making unnecessary jabs at Rangel without a valid premise.

Rangel stepped down as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee last month after abusing privileges by taking trips to the Caribbean in violation of House rules.

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