Rep. Charles Rangel has declared victory in Tuesday’s Democratic primary vote, but his main challenger, state Sen. Adriano Espaillat, said he will not concede the race.
The Associate Press stated Mr. Rangel won about 47 percent of the vote, compared to Mr. Espaillat’s roughly 42 percent, with 99.5 percent of precincts in the 13th congressional district reporting.
"We have fought this fight. We have won new friends. We have brought our community together," Business Insider quoted Mr. Rangel as telling supporters at his campaign party at Taino Towers in Harlem.
However, Mr. Espaillat said the race is too close to call.
“We have reviewed the results as they continue to come in and we feel this race is too close to call," he said at his campaign party beside supporters including Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz and Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez.wn
The situation recalled the close 2012 primary in which it took weeks before Mr. Rangel was declared winner.
Tuesday night’s vote came at the end of a campaign that was none the less heated for being brief. Mr. Rangel, Mr. Espaillat and underdog Rev. Michael Walrond took turns criticizing one another’s records and policy stances in four debates — plus one in the Bronx that Mr. Rangel missed.
It was the second primary since the area Mr. Rangel represents was redistricted to include Kingsbridge, Kingsbridge Heights, Van Corltandt Village and other parts of the Bronx along with Marble Hill.
Mr. Espaillat sought to cast himself as the face of change in the district and called on the influx of Latino voters that came with the 2012 redistricting, along with others, to put him in Congress. Mr. Rangel said he was the best qualified candidate for his office, often belittling his opponent’s credentials in this year’s debates.
Data collected by WNYC showed Mr. Espaillat winning the majority of predominantly Hispanic precincts and Mr. Rangel winning the majority of predominantly black neighborhoods.
On Tuesday night, Mr. Rangel sounded buoyant as he anticipated his 23rd term in Congress. He has previously said this would be his last run for office.
“We don’t need a whole lot of numbers to tell you how good we feel,” news Business Insider quoted him as saying.
The Associated Press said Rev. Walrdon and Ms. Garcia won about 8 percent and 1 percent of the vote, respectively.