In an emailed advisory on Friday, Assemblyman Keith Wright of Harlem announced he will kick off a campaign to replace Rep. Charles Rangel in Congress next year at a prayer breakfast in the Bronx on Saturday.
The event will include a number of influential clergyman, including Rev. Carl Washington Jr. of New Mount Zion Baptist Church in Harlem, Rev. Dr. Johnnie Green Jr. of Mount Neboh Baptist Church in Harlem, and Rev. Calvin Butts III of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem.
Former governor David Paterson is also listed as attending the event at the Union Missionary Baptist Church.
Wright has long been rumored as a possible successor to Rangel, who has held the seat for decades, but has faced tough primaries from State Sen. Adriano Espaillat in the last two cycles. Rangel announced after his last re-election that he will retire from Congress after more than 40 years in office.
Wright has served in the Assembly since 1992. He served as the Democratic State Party’s co-chair from June 2012 until May 2014, and currently chairs the Manhattan Democratic Party.
The Assemblyman joins an already crowded field of Democrats vying for the seat. His former Assembly colleague, Adam Clayton Powel IV—whose father, icon Rep. Adam Clayton Powell, lost his seat to a young Rangel in 1970—has already announced his campaign. Another Assemblyman and fellow Harlemite, Robert Rodriguez, is also expected to join the fray, as is Espaillat and other lesser-known candidates.
The historically black district has shifted in recent years to contain a significant Latino population.
Wright’s announcement will be followed by a previously scheduled affordable housing rally in Harlem on Saturday that is scheduled to include Mayor Bill de Blasio, Comptroller Scott Stringer, as well as Rangel and the Rev. Al Sharpton.
The 13th Congressional District stretches from East Harlem to Inwood in Manhattan, encompassing the entire northern tip of the island, as well as a slice of the Bronx around Lehman College (via source).