Espaillat takes Bronx, but Rangel wins district
By Shant Shahrigian
State Sen. Adriano Espaillat took the Bronx in his bid to unseat Rep. Charles Rangel, but it was not nearly enough to win the June 24 Democratic primary. Mr. Espaillat conceded to the longtime incumbent on June 26, ending a tough campaign that brought the district’s changing demographics to the forefront.
The senator’s concession announcement came after Mr. Espaillat initially said he would not give in until absentee ballots and other votes had been counted over the coming weeks. But he eventually calculated those ballots would not be enough to overcome the roughly 1,400-vote lead Mr. Rangel had by the end of the June 24 primary.
Initial results showed Mr. Rangel winning the overall vote by about 47 to 44 percent — or 22,674 to 20,846 votes — and Mr. Espaillat winning the Bronx part of the district by about 52 to 42 percent — or 3,385 to 2,787 votes. Rev. Michael Walrond and a fourth candidate, Bronxite Yolanda Garcia, won about 8 percent and 1 percent of the total vote, respectively.
In his concession statement, Mr. Espaillat said he is seeking reelection to the state senate, where he represents Upper Manhattan and Marble Hill. His campaign declined to comment for this article.
For the entire congressional campaign, Harlem and the rest of Upper Manhattan overshadowed the Bronx part of the 13th district, with candidates doing far less stumping here than on the island and Mr. Rangel missing a June debate on BronxTalk.
But the incumbent — who said his coming, 23rd term will be his last — won a few more votes in the Bronx than in 2012. That year, the first time Mr. Espaillat challenged Mr. Rangel, redistricting added Kingsbridge, Kingsbridge Heights, Van Cortlandt Village, Bedford Park and Norwood, along with Marble Hill, to the district.
Riverdale’s Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, who endorsed Mr. Espaillat, said the main contestants were “on more equal footing” in the Bronx part of the borough than in Upper Manhattan, where Mr. Rangel has been a symbol of the community for years.