Rep. Charles B. Rangel, D-N.Y., announced Thursday he will seek a 23rd term in an op-ed he wrote for the New York Daily News.
While most political operatives brush off any notion that Rangel would leave office on his own will, he cast some doubt about his congressional future in an email to supporters earlier this week.
"I have been contemplating my own future and the role I want to play in the fight with my family," he wrote on Sunday. "I plan to make a decision shortly and will announce before the holidays. Please stay tuned."
Rangel is not completely in the clear, though. He still faces what could be a competitive primary in 2014.
In 2012, he just barely squeaked past state Sen. Adriano Espaillat with a 3-point margin. Espaillat and another former rival, former state Assemblyman Adam Clayton Powell IV, filed to run for the Democratic nomination earlier this year.
Whomever wins the Democratic primary is all but certain to win the general election. The race is rated Safe Democrat by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.
Updated 1:40 p.m. | Espaillat released a statement calling for "new energy, new leadership and a renewed sense of urgency."
“I am proud of the campaign that I ran nearly two years ago, and the progressive ideas we put forward," he said. "Since then, voters in Upper Manhattan and the Bronx have watched as Washington has failed to take action on one critical issue for our district after another. Today, as it was two years ago, we need new energy, new leadership and a renewed sense of urgency.”
Shira T. Center contributed to this report.