Local June 9, 2014 | 8:50 am

Rangel’s racial slip boosts Dominican-born rival

New York.- Representative Charles Rangel’s racially-charged comments during a televised debate Saturday of Democratic Party hopefuls drew sharp rebuke from several Latino leaders in New York.

Rangel accused Dominican-born Adriano Espaillat, his closest rival for the candidacy to Congress for New York District 13, of basing his candidacy only on the fact of his Dominican origin. "What the heck has he done apart from saying that he’s from the Dominican Republic?"

The veteran Congressman and his rival took part in the debate recorded Friday, EFE reports.

Rangel said Espaillat pretends to be the “Jackie Robinson" of Dominicans , in reference to the first African American in Major League Baseball.

Espaillat responded by accusing Rangel of shifting the debate toward racial issues and of seeking to divide the various communities in the 13th Congressional District, which includes parts of Upper Manhattan and the Bronx.

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