Charles Rangel Wins Tough Primary Contest – Again

Rival Adriano Espaillat is set to concede a second time after challenging the initial ballot count.

Posted: 07/09/2012 11:08 AM EDT
Rep. Charlie Rangel

New York Rep. Charles Rangel's road to victory in his race for a 22nd term in Congress has not been easy, but in the end the ethically and health-challenged lawmaker has proved invincible. Following a weekend count of absentee and affidavit ballots, the state's Board of Elections announced that Rangel has once again won the Democratic nomination to represent the newly configured 13th district, by approximately 987 votes. It is expected to certify the results by Tuesday.

Rangel's top challenger, state Sen. Adriano Espaillat, had contested the results of the June 26 primary election, which Rangel won by 18,942 votes to Espaillat’s 17,955, alleging harassment of Spanish-speaking voters at the polls and other irregularities. After redistricting, Latinos now make up the majority in the district.

"To my surprise, my opponent’s campaign pounced on me on Friday, saying that I had somehow stolen their votes! I’m completely baffled by the situation and the way my opponent has been reacting,” Rangel wrote in an email to supporters.

A court hearing has been set for Wednesday, the day before the deadline for Espaillat to declare his candidacy for re-election to the state senate. According to a New York Daily News report, he is expected on Monday to concede the race for a second time and then turn his attention to retaining the office he currently holds.

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(Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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