Nine candidates are vying for the Congressional seat being vacated by the retiring Charles Rangel, and next month NY1 will get most of them together on one stage for a live televised debate. NY1's Bobby Cuza has more.
For months, they've been attending candidate forums, collecting endorsements, and doing street-level campaigning.
But now, NY1 is gathering the seven leading candidates for the 13th Congressional District to duke it out in a 90-minute debate.
"I just hope to hit one with my right, hit one with my left, and knock them all out," said Adam Clayton Powell IV, (D), a candidate for Congress. "And I'll just be the last one standing."
The man likely to absorb the most blows is Assembly Member Keith Wright, who's collected the lion's share of endorsements in this race, including from the current officeholder, Rep. Rangel.
"I'm excited about it. I intend to campaign for him," said Rangel, whose district covers parts of Manhattan and the Bronx.
"Congressman Rangel does not give his endorsement just because," Democrat Keith Wright said. "He gives it because you've earned it."
In announcing his support for Wright, Rangel took jabs at challengers Clyde Williams — whom he views as a newcomer — and Adriano Espaillat, for not giving up his current State Senate seat.
"I'm not going to criticize the Congress member," Espaillat, a Democrat, said. "He should really let it go. It's time to move on."
Williams, and even Powell — whose father, Adam Clayton Powell Jr., preceded Rangel in Congress — have cast themselves as outsiders. Powell notes that longtime allies Rangel and Wright live a block apart.
"All they have to do is call each other and say, 'Meet me on the corner of 135th Street and 5th Avenue,'" Powell said. "So how much change could that bring?"
"People are tired of these broken political machines that exist uptown that are only concerned about themselves and the needs of special interest groups," said Williams, a Democrat.
Also participating in the debate, set for the week before the June 28 primary, is faith leader Suzan Johnson Cook, stay-at-home dad Michael Gallagher, and Democratic Assembly Member Guillermo Linares.
"I think that a lot of people will be listening," Linares said. "And I think what we have to say, and what we have to share, makes a huge difference.”
The debate will take place at Hostos Community College in the Bronx. It is being co-sponsored by the political news outlet City & State, as well as the Latino Leadership Institute.
The debate will be carried live on NY1 and NY1 Noticias on Monday, June 20, beginning at 7 p.m.