NEW YORK — Veteran Democratic Reps. Charles Rangel and Carolyn Maloney handily beat back spirited primary challenges Tuesday while Republicans chose candidates to compete with several vulnerable New York House Democrats.
Under fire for a range of ethics allegations, Rangel was leading his closest rival, Assemblyman Adam Clayton Powell IV, by more than 2 to 1. Three other challengers were trailing badly.
A House panel has charged Rangel with 13 violations, including using official stationery to solicit funds for a college center in New York named for him and failing to disclose and pay taxes on rental income from a beach villa in the Dominican Republic. Rangel has vigorously fought the charges and pushed back on calls from some Democrats, including President Barack Obama, to step aside.
In remarks to supporters at his primary night rally, Rangel portrayed his win as a victory for the supporters who have faithfully stood by him. [See who is donating money to Rangel's campaign.]
"I'm going back to Washington with such pride," Rangel said to cheers before the results were announced but as early returns suggested he would win. "This isn't a win for Charlie Rangel. This is our community's win."
Maloney scored a decisive win in the 14th Congressional District, which covers Queens and the eastern side of Manhattan. While she faced down a well-funded challenge from hedge fund lawyer Reshma Saujani, Maloney ultimately pulled in about 80 percent of the primary vote. [See where Maloney's campaign cash comes from.]
Maloney had a simple answer when asked how she had won so easily.
"Hard work and a record to run on. Passing legislation that's important to people's lives," Maloney told The Associated Press in an interview.
Both Rangel and Maloney are virtually assured victory in November in their heavily Democratic districts.
On the Republican side, businessman Randy Altschuler prevailed in a three-way contest in eastern Long Island to face incumbent Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop in November. Chris Cox, the grandson of the late President Richard M. Nixon and son of state Republican Chairman Ed Cox, came in a distant third.
On Staten Island, former FBI agent Michael Grimm easily defeated businessman Michael Allegretti to take on first term Democratic Rep. Michael McMahon. McMahon is considered vulnerable in the most conservative of New York City's five boroughs.
In upstate New York, investment banker Matt Doheny defeated Doug Hoffman despite Hoffman's strong support among tea party supporters. Hoffman, who rose to fame last year when he challenged the hand-picked GOP candidate in a special election to replace Republican Rep. John McHugh, may do the same again this time. He has vowed to stay on as the nominee of the Conservative Party, setting up a three way race that could help Democratic Rep. Bill Owens win re-election.