A Pastor Is Running Against New York Rep. Charlie Rangel. From New Jersey.

This doesn’t seem like the best way to take down Congress’ s third-longest-serving member.

Rep. Charlie Rangel listens to President Obama deliver remarks at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. Annual Phoenix Awards September 21, 2013 at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC.
National Journal
Matt Berman
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Matt Berman
Jan. 2, 2014, 6:07 a.m.

Rep. Charles Ran­gel, the long­time New York Demo­crat, has had his share of ma­jor chal­lenges dur­ing his four-plus dec­ades in of­fice. The biggest of these, of course, was be­ing found guilty on 11 eth­ics charges in late 2010, which led to a near primary loss to state Sen. Ad­ri­ano Es­pail­lat in 2012. But the con­gress­man has con­sist­ently hung around, of­ten beat­ing polit­ic­al chal­lengers by massive mar­gins.

Har­lem Pas­tor Mi­chael Wal­rond, a Demo­crat who re­cently filed to chal­lenge Ran­gel in the primary for his 13th Dis­trict seat, would like to change that. The only prob­lem is, Wal­rond doesn’t live in Har­lem. Ac­cord­ing to his pa­per­work, un­covered by NY1, Wal­rond doesn’t even live in New York. He lives in Edge­wa­ter, N.J.

Wal­rond isn’t go­ing in totally blind. His Har­lem church gives him a large sup­port base, he’s a close ally of the Rev. Al Sharpton, and car­ries polit­ic­al clout in the city. For his part, Wal­rond tells NY1 that he plans on im­min­ently leav­ing his Jer­sey res­id­ence for Har­lem. But it’s hard to ima­gine Ran­gel not hav­ing a field day with a chal­lenger who is cur­rently liv­ing not just out of dis­trict, but out of state.

This isn’t at all the first time someone’s tried to run for a seat while liv­ing out­side the dis­trict. In 2012, at least eight can­did­ates for the House in Mary­land ran in dis­tricts they didn’t live in. One of them won.

Ran­gel isn’t ne­ces­sar­ily safely as­sured of get­ting that 23rd term. But the biggest chal­lenge is likely to come from an­oth­er run by Es­pail­lat, not from New Jer­sey.

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