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Rangel Wins Primary Despite Ethics Charges

Voters Flock To Embattled Dem's Side; Espada Concedes
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Rep. Charles Rangel

Rep. Charles Rangel (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (CBS 2 / WCBS 880) — Voters headed to the polls Tuesday for New York’s primary election.

For some candidates, you’d have no idea they’re facing serious, even federal charges.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reports

CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer was in Harlem Tuesday night, where Congressman Charlie Rangel was celebrating his primary win.

For months New York voters have been telling pollsters they want to throw the bums out, but apparently some feel the bum they know is better than the one they don’t.

Rangel came into primary day facing 13 ethics charges for misusing congressional resources and failing to pay taxes, but his supporters said they don’t care.

Rangel beat back five challengers in the Democratic primary, including Adam Clayton Powell IV, a state assemblyman and son of the legendary Harlem figure Rangel defeated in 1970.

“I’m going to go back to Washington with such pride, with such pride. I hope when you go back to work tomorrow you don’t say this is a win for Charlie Rangel. It’s a win for our community,” Rangel said.

You could tell Rangel was headed to victory when voters broke out in spontaneous applause when the 80-year-old congressman cast his ballot Tuesday morning.

Charges that Bronx Sen. Pedro Espada allegedly took $14 million from his Bronx health clinic proved to be too much for his constituents to handle. They sent him packing in favor of Gustavo Rivera.

Queens politician Hiram Monserrate was kicked out of the Senate after a conviction for roughing up his girlfriend. However, his comeback attempt to represent his constituents in the assembly was beaten down as early returns had him with just 37 percent of the vote.

And no rogue’s gallery of politicians would be complete without Brooklyn Sen. Kevin Parker, who has anger management issues and is facing an assault trial. Early returns had him in the lead.

So the rouge’s gallery tallied Tuesday night was wins and losses. However, voters will get another chance to knock them out in November.

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