Rangel opponent concedes defeat

Rep. Charles Rangel’s Democratic opponent conceded defeat on Monday and dropped a legal challenge to Rangel's primary victory in New York state.

It was the second time New York state Sen. Adriano Espaillat has conceded to Rangel, and it all but assures the veteran lawmaker will serve a 22nd term in the House. Rangel will be hugely favored in the general election. 

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Rangel was declared the winner last month, but a narrow vote margin led to a contentious recount over the past two weeks. 

The City Board of Elections announced over the weekend that in a final tally, Rangel won by 990 votes.

"I'm here to acknowledge that we came [up] short two percent. I wanna congratulate Congressman Charles B. Rangel for his victory and tell him that I look forward to working with him as we move forward in the 13th Congressional District," Espaillat told reporters Monday, according to The New York Daily News

“Everybody from Nancy Pelosi down supported the incumbent, so I'm very proud to have run a very strong race,” he said in a reference to the Democratic leader in the House.

Espaillat's suit had alleged voter suppression in the election. Last week, a judge gave Espaillat’s lawyers permission to broaden their legal arguments in the suit, leading observers to speculate Espaillat’s campaign might ask for an entirely new vote.

Espaillat is considering running for re-election to his state Senate seat.


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