Hey Espaillat, at least you won the Bronx
By Adam Wisnieski
State Sen. Adriano Espaillat may have lost the congressional primary to Rep. Charles Rangel, but he won the Bronx part of District 13 by 233 votes.
Of the 5,386 votes cast in the Bronx, Mr. Rangel received 2,298, or 42.6 percent, compared with Mr. Espaillat’s 2,531 votes, or 46 percent of ballots cast, according to election district breakdowns released by the Board of Elections on July 10.
Mr. Espaillat lost the election by 1,086 votes to longtime incumbent Mr. Rangel.
The Bronx portion of the district was new territory for Mr. Rangel, because this year it was drawn into the upper Manhattan district he’s represented for decades.
Though Mr. Espaillat’s campaign expected the borough to be a stronghold for the candidate, not many Bronxites turned out to vote on Election Day.
Turnout was strikingly low for the oddly timed June primary. Of 61,602 registered Democrats in the Bronx part of Congressional District 13, only about 8.7 percent — 5,386 — cast a ballot.
In Manhattan, the percentage was much higher, at approximately 13.5 percent of registered Democrats in that borough.
Ibrahim Khan, campaign spokesman for Mr. Espaillat, said Mr. Espaillat was pleased with the percentage in the Bronx, but disappointed in the “very low turnout.”
“We thought we did fine, but we’re disappointed in the turnout. We wish the Board of Elections notified voters of the election beforehand,” Mr. Khan said.
Another factor that likely contributed to the low turnout was that it was a single, local race, with no candidates for mayor, governor or president on the ballot to help bring voters to the polls.
However, Mr. Espaillat had an army of staffers out in the Bronx on Election Day, he was the only candidate to open a campaign office in the Bronx and told The Riverdale Press that he thought the Bronx would carry him to victory.