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Rangel Holds Off Espaillat in Congressional Primary

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Rep. Charles Rangel appears headed for a 23rd term in Congress after defeating state Senator Adriano Espaillat, as well as challengers Yolanda Garcia and the Rev. Michael Walrond, in a Democratic primary Tuesday evening.

With all 471 precincts reporting, Rangel has 47.4 percent of the vote, while Espaillat has 43.6 percent. The two were separated by almost 2,000 votes.


Walrond had 7.9 percent of the vote, while Garcia has 1.1 percent of the vote.

Rangel addressed supporters in East Harlem late Tuesday night at the end of the hard-fought campaign.

"I want each one of you to go home and know that this was your victory, this is your Congressman, and you can rest assured, all I will be doing is thinking about you and bringing these resources home," Rangel said.

NY1 called the race based on vote totals at approximately 11:50 p.m. Tuesday, but Espaillat did not concede when he spoke to supporters at approximately 11:30 p.m.

He told his supporters it's still too close to call.

"I want to thank all of you for the efforts that you put into this race," Espaillat said. "This is a historic race and one that we should all be proud of."

The race appears to have been resolved much quicker than Rangel's last primary race in 2012, in which he also faced Espaillat. Rangel was declared the winner on primary night, but Espaillat later rescinded his concession as the race tightened after more votes were counted.

Espaillat later challenged the results in court, but dropped that lawsuit and ended his bid when Rangel remained ahead after all paper ballots were counted.

In his 2012 race, Rangel received broad political support and won endorsements from City Comptroller Scott Stringer and the Bronx Democratic Party, who backed Espaillat in this year's primary. Those officials said they had expected Rangel's 2012 run to be his last.

The debates in this year's race were heated. In one, Rangel pretended to take a call on his cellphone and mocked his opponents. In another, Rangel accused Espaillat of running solely on his ethnicity.

In addition to Charles Rangel, three other longtime incumbents faced primary challenge today.

NY1 has projected Rep. Nydia Velazquez, who represents parts of Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens, as the winner in her race against first-time candidate Jeff Kurzon, an attorney who pushed campaign finance reform.

With 422 of 434 precincts reporting as of 12:45 a.m. Wednesday, Velazquez had approximately 82 percent of the vote to Kurzon's 18 percent.

NY1 has also declared Rep. Gregory Meeks of southeast Queens the winner in his primary battle against accountant Joe Marthone.

With all 416 precincts reporting, Meeks had approximately 82 percent of the vote to Marthone's 18 percent.

In the Bronx, Rep. Jose Serrano has been declared the winner by NY1 in his primary challenge against Sam Sloan.

With all 413 precincts reporting as of 12:45 a.m. Wednesday, Serrano had 91 percent of the vote to Sloan's 9 percent.

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