Harlem Rep. Charles Rangel has dropped out of the third and final televised debate in the Democratic Primary for the 13th Congressional District, which is scheduled to tape today and air on BronxTalk. “I’m only upset for the people of the Bronx,” said host Gary Axelbank. A spokesman for NY State Senator Adriano Espaillat, Rangel’s leading opponent in the congressional race, issued a statement attacking Rangel for being “out of touch” with Bronx residents. Rangel’s team pointed out that the last debate in which he participated actually took place in the Bronx at Lehman College. However, that debate did not focus on issues facing the Bronx. In previous debates, Rangel gave a number of quirky performances: during one debate he used a cell phone as a prop to insult his opponents, during another he was caught using Google on his iPad. Meanwhile, as the federal primary date of nears, scrutiny has increased on Espaillat’s record in Albany, where he has passed only four bills in the Senate from 2011 to 2013 but has been a leader on immigration issues. The primary is June 24 (source).
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