Wright: ‘Indeed, I Am a Candidate for Congress’


With his simple statement, “I am indeed, a candidate for Congress,” Harlem Assemblyman Keith L. T. Wright kicked off his long anticipated bid to succeed the retiring Lion of Harlem, Rep. Charles B. Rangel. The venue for the campaign announcement was the basement hall of Union Grove Missionary Baptist Church in the West Farms section of the Bronx.

Assemblyman Wright’s remarks were preceded by an introduction from Rev. Calvin O. Butts III, senior pastor at the historic Abyssinian Baptist Church, which was once pastored by maverick Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Rev. Butts opened by saying that Wright commands the respect and influence needed to follow in the footsteps of Powell and Rangel. He commended Wright’s “no nonsense” approach to politics.

Wright acknowledged that after nearly a quarter century in the State Assembly, he is now at a crossroad for new opportunity and a new chapter of service. He condemned the evils of racism, poverty, concentrated wealth and the reality that our education system fails too many children.

State Democratic party chairman and former New York Governor David A. Paterson closed the event with praise for Assemblyman Wright’s legislative record. Paterson cited Wright’s work to achieve economic justice for domestic workers and his fight for stronger tenant protections.


Assemblyman Wright was joined by Rev. Carl L. Washington, Jr., Rev. Dr. Johnnie M. Green, Jr., Rev. Calvin O. Butts III, Rev. Frederick Crawford, Jr., Hazel Dukes, Council Member Inez Dickens, activist and former journalist, Felipe Luciano, and his pal, Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry (D-Queens).

When asked why no Bronx pols were present, campaign spokesman Charlie King said that no elected officials were invited. “We will have other roll out events.” Dickens and Aubry attended because they are friends of Assemblyman Wright.

In remarks to reporters, Wright said he is not overlooking the Bronx. “We will be reaching out to everyone.”

“We hope to earn the support of Speaker Heastie and the Bronx Democratic party organization,” said Wright. Earlier in the year, Wright and Heastie competed for the Assembly Speakship.

Regarding, ethnic rivalries, Wright assured “We will bring all the demographics together [because] we all have the same issues to fight.”

Rev. Frederick Crawford, Jr., who welcomed Wright and hosted Saturday’s prayer breakfast at Union Grove, said Wright has a record fighting for education and labor issues. “We have members who live in the Bronx and Harlem who can be supportive,” added Crawford.

Earlier in the morning, Rev. Butts delighted in reminding attendees that Wright’s wife, Susan is a Bronx girl who graduated from Herbert H. Lehman College in the borough.

Charlie King, a Wright campaign consultant, is a former executive director of the NY Democratic State Committee, who has had good relations with Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and the Bronx Democratic organization.

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