The victor won twice, and now his rival is expected to concede defeat for the second time, according to at least two news outlets.
Both the New York Daily News and CapitalNewYork.com, citing unnamed sources, say that State Sen. Adriano Espaillat is preparing to concede defeat to incumbent U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel in the Democratic primary.
It’s been a roller-coaster primary season in the 13th Congressional District in New York, as Rangel, vying to be his party’s nominee in his quest for a 22nd term in the House of Representatives, saw his initial 2,300-vote edge plunge to a little over 800 votes.
After a ballot count that started days ago, New York City Board of Elections spokeswoman Valerie Vazquez said Rangel received 18,940 votes. Espaillat got 17,950 votes in the June 26 primary.
The outcome was so close that Espaillat contested it. He charged in court that his supporters had been improperly turned away from polls.
About 2,000 absentee and affidavit ballots were counted at the board’s lower Manhattan offices. Rangel’s lead widened from 802 votes when the tallying started Thursday.
For the latest result to become official, it must be certified by board commissioners, likely by Tuesday, said Tim Gay, the board’s deputy chief clerk.
Either politician may still challenge the board’s numbers.
The Daily News said that Espaillat is planning to announce he will drop his lawsuit questioning Rangel’s victory, but CapitalNewYork.com said he is “not dropping his overall complaint that board of elections officials worked to ensure Rangel’s re-election by deterring Spanish-speaking voters from casting ballots.”
Espaillat’s campaign alleged that hundreds of Latino voters were faced with multiple obstacles when they tried to cast their votes.
Rangel’s attorney, Arthur Greig, said Espaillat was just trying to slow down the process.
Both news outlets added that Espaillat would announce his intention to seek re-election to the state Senate.