Rev. Michel Faulkner, a local church leader and former football player, is challenging Rep. Charlie Rangel for his seat in New York’s 15th District. According to Rev. Faulkner, “The people of my community have been robbed of the American Dream because of unethical and ineffective leadership of Charlie Rangel and it is time for a change.” Although this district is heavily Democrat, the choice between Rangel and Democrat challenger Adam Clayton Powell IV leaves some wanting an alternative.
Rev. Faulkner is running as a clear conservative. His platform includes promoting small business, the expansion of charter schools, supporting community based health initiatives and reducing government waste and spending. He is gaining support among the local community, having been endorsed by a prominent group of African American and Hispanic pastors.
Rev. Faulkner knows the task before him is daunting. He was barred from a recent debate, supposedly because the Republicans were not holding a primary. However, an independent candidate was allowed to participate. Faulkner took the exclusion to further illuminate why he is running. “That’s why I’m running: to give voters a real choice on November 2nd. The people of Harlem are tired of ‘politics as usual,’ they are tired of the one-party system that pervades this district. Whether we are participating in this candidate forum or not, we will make sure the people of Harlem have the opportunity to hear our message that we need to bring new jobs to Harlem now, to get people back to work and back on their feet.”