Clyde Williams, a candidate for the new 13th Congressional District who has been overshadowed by incumbent Rep. Charlie Rangel and another challenger, State Sen. Adriano Espaillat, cast his vote in the Democratic primary this morning in Harlem.
After voting, Williams said he was confident he could come from behind and win today’s primary, pointing to late endorsements from the New York Times and the Daily News, a well-funded get-out-the-vote operation, and voters who want change.
“We’ve gotten many more volunteers of the last few weeks,” he said. “We’ve also had more people who have showed an overall interest in my candidacy, and more than anything else I think we are resonating because people realize we talk about issues.”
He said his campaign has “hundreds of people” out today at polls, driving vehicles, making calls and boosting his visibility. He said he didn’t have any target numbers for turnout, but that his campaign already knocked on more than 38,000 doors and reached at least 188,000 people.
“We’re going to continue what we’ve been doing, which is running a race based on actual numbers and making sure we get these people out to vote,” he said. “There’s definitely a desire for change. We hear that everywhere we go. … I think the only person who offers real change in this race is me.”
But he said it would be a challenge facing two strong candidates who are already in elected office – Rangel and Espaillat – even with a fundraising advantage in the race.
“Honestly, I may have had a fundraising advantage, but I’m running against a 40-some-odd year incumbent who has 90-and-some-odd percent name recognition, so there is no advantage,” he said. “At best, I can raise enough money where I’m competitive. …So I have to do all the things that are necessary to make sure I get my message out and make sure people know who I am, and if I do that, I’ll win.”
Asked if he could end playing the spoiler role and tip the race to Espaillat, Williams said the people simply want him to win.
Williams didn’t specify any neighborhoods in the district he would be targeting in what is expected to be a low-turnout election today, saying he be canvassing “throughout the Congressional district.”
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