Rangel Fends Off Espaillat in House Primary Race

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from The New York Times,

Representative Charles B. Rangel, the Harlem Democrat who said he wanted to be able to decide on his own when to retire from a career in Congress that began in 1971, held off a determined challenge by State Senator Adriano D. Espaillat to win the primary for a 23rd term.

Mr. Rangel’s lead of about 1,800 votes in the primary held on Tuesday was enough to overcome any gains Mr. Espaillat could make in the counting of absentee and affidavit ballots filled out by voters at the polls, The Associated Press reported on Wednesday afternoon, citing new information from the New York City Board of Elections. Mr. Rangel had 47.4 percent of the vote; Mr. Espaillat, 43.6 percent. There is no Republican candidate for the House seat in the 13th Congressional District.

An official, final vote count will not come until the middle of next week, at the earliest: The Board of Elections will continue receiving absentee ballots by mail through Tuesday and will not begin opening absentee or affidavit ballots until Wednesday, it said.

Mr. Rangel had essentially declared victory on Tuesday, in a 45-minute speech that was part monologue, part call-and-response, at his election-night party in East Harlem. He did not appear in public on Wednesday.

The A.P. did not call the race until the Board of Elections released the number of outstanding absentee and affidavit ballots.

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