Mr. Rangel wants primarily to clear his name, but he has promised repeatedly that he would serve out his term if re-elected, even if the case is concluded before 2012, rather than pulling a common New York party trick by resigning early so Democrats could handpick his replacement for a quick, unnoticed special election. A better solution would be for voters to look seriously at the five people running against him now.

The biggest name in the race is Assemblyman Adam Clayton Powell IV, whose father was a political superstar in that area. Mr. Powell, however, has done little in Albany, even by Albany’s do-little standards. He has shown no reason for voters to promote him.

There are four other choices: Vince Morgan, a community banker and former Rangel aide; Jonathan Tasini, a perennial liberal candidate; Ruben Vargas, another campaign regular; and Joyce Johnson, a former chief executive and educator. The best of these alternatives is Joyce Johnson, who, while struggling in the primary, has been a strong advocate for women’s rights and civil rights for many years.

In the 15th Congressional District Democratic primary, we endorse Joyce Johnson.