One Democratic operative floated another possible Rangel successor: former Democratic National Committee Executive Director Patrick Gaspard, who came up through the ranks of New York politics. Raised in Brooklyn, Gaspard is currently the ambassador to South Africa.
Democrats also note that state Sen. Adriano Espaillat narrowly lost to Rangel in a 2012 primary and still holds political credibility in the region. They also mention state Assemblyman Keith Wright as a potential candidate.
Meanwhile, Democrats are perplexed by the future of Slaughter’s 25th District.
Most recently, Rochester Mayor-elect Lovely Warren shocked the city’s Democratic establishment with her victory. Multiple Democrats say she “came out of nowhere.” As a young African-American woman, they see her potential but plead ignorance on her political skills.
Next year, Democrats will target a more attainable seat: Republican Rep. Tom Reed’s 23rd District.
Tompkins County Legislator Martha Robertson is the likely Democratic nominee for 2014. If she fails, party operatives pointed to Myrick and Tompkins County Legislator Nate Shinagawa as potential contenders. Shinagawa lost his bid to defeat Reed last cycle by 4 points.
At least one seat remains on the Democratic wish list: GOP Rep. Peter T. King’s 2nd District in Long Island. President Barack Obama won the district with 52 percent, but King has consistently performed better there than GOP presidential contenders.
Democrats have not indicated they plan to target King in 2014. But if he retires, local operatives named Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice as a potential candidate.
Finally, there are a handful of big political personalities in New York who Democrats say could run anywhere — if there’s ever an opening.
Specifically, Democrats say New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn could still be a big player in state politics, even after her 2013 mayoral defeat.
Farm Team is a state-by-state look at the up-and-coming politicos who may eventually run for Congress. The column runs on Thursdays. The next Farm Team will focus on Republicans in New York.
Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., takes a selfie with his cut-out head during the Hoops for Youth 16th annual charity basketball game held at George Washington University's Smith Center, September 8, 2014. The members of Congress team beat the lobbyist team 46-40. Buy photo here.