In 2010, Rangel was found guilty of several ethical violations including not paying taxes on rental property in the Dominican Republic and housing his campaign headquarters in the building where he lives.
Political experts anticipated this year’s race to be the end of Rangel’s career citing his ethical problems and the redistricting issues.
“While Congress' rating is in the single digits and several incumbents have lost primaries around the country, Rep. Rangel is still extremely popular in Harlem,” explained Tom Schatz, president of Citizens Against Government Waste. “His re-election is both a testament to his longevity and a reflection of his constituents, who clearly don't seem to mind his ethical lapses.”
Support for Rangel’s political vigor became apparent during the tough election.
"He is a consummate public servant, and public service is not easy whenever your life is open for constant scrutiny and everything you do is under a microscope," said New York State Assemblyman Keith L.T. Wright, a co-chairman of the state Democratic Party. "He's from Harlem. We've done nothing but have to fight for whatever we have to achieve."
Rangel was the first African-American chairman of the Ways and Means Committee after Democrats won control of the House in 2006. He was also one of the leading voices fighting against drug trafficking. He also drafted legislation in support of urban communities.
Rangel faced other opponents in this year’s election including New York business executive Joyce Johnson, Rangel’s former intern Craig Schley, and former Bill Clinton aide Clyde Williams.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo endorsed Rangel last week stating that he admires his dedication and service.
Many New York newspapers took sides with Rangel’s opponents throughout the race but it did not pose a concern for the new representative.
"If (the newspaper editorial boards) didn't think, after 42 years, that I was the best qualified, I promise them in the next two years, they'll have no question of the fact that you elected the best," Rangel said.