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Correction Appended

It looks as if Rep. Charlie Rangel wants to come back for a 22nd term.

The 80-year-old New York Democratic Congressman filed a 2012 statement of candidacy Monday, according to a filing with the Federal Election Commission.

Rangel, who first took office in 1971, had been evoking his age in recent interviews, leading some to speculate that his tenure in Congress was coming to an end. Last fall, he faced his most difficult re-election campaign in decades after being found guilty of various ethics violations. He was ultimately censured by the House.

Rangel went so far as to float the names of possible successors in a December interview with the New York Daily News: “Assemblyman Keith Wright is ‘a great guy with a lot of experience,’ and state Sen. Adriano Espaillat ‘really has a proven record,’ he said. ‘And I’m watching this new fella coming in, [state Sen. Robert Rodriguez].’”

Today’s filing, of course, does not mean that Rangel cannot back out of a 2012 campaign should he want to. At the very least, it gives him leverage going forward.

For more from our At the Races politics blog, click here.

Correction: Feb. 15, 2011

The article misstated the publication to which Rep. Charlie Rangel floated the names of possible successors. It was the New York Daily News.

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