NEW YORK (PIX11) — Senator Espaillat has spent the majority of his life as a community activist serving upper Manhattan. On Tuesday, he hopes his hard work will help dethrone Rep. Rangel, who has had his seat for 44 years.
Sen. Espaillat was born in the Dominican Republic, the first Dominican-American in US state legislature. Before being elected to the Senate in 2011, Espaillat served on the NY State Assembly from 1997-2010.
Now he is looking to be the first Dominican-born congressman.
Sen. Espaillat has made a name for himself through his community activism, serving various groups in upper Manhattan including Project Right Start, the Victims Services Community Office, and NYC Criminal Justice Agency among others.
He has advocated for rent regulations, cracking down on alcohol sales to minors, supporting livery drivers’ rights, and has tackled a plethora of civil rights issues.
Sen. Espaillat’s opponent in the Democratic primary Tuesday is 84 year-old fixture Rep. Rangel. In 2010, Sen. Espaillat nearly unseated Rangel, losing by only 1,000 votes.
An independent poll on Friday showed Rangel ahead of Espaillat by 13%. The poll surveyed 708 likely primary voters June 14-18.