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Espaillat Concedes To Rangel In Tight Primary Race

U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel and Democratic primary opponent state Sen. Adriano Espaillat. (Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images; Marla Diamond, WCBS 880)

U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel and Democratic primary opponent state Sen. Adriano Espaillat. (Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images; Marla Diamond, WCBS 880)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – State Sen. Adriano Espaillat has conceded to longtime Rep. Charlie Rangel.

Espaillat’s campaign said he called Rangel Thursday to offer his congratulations.

“I want to express my deepest appreciation for all of the efforts of my supporters and volunteers on my campaign for Congress,” Espaillat said in a statement. “Even though I will not be representing the 13th District in Congress, I will continue to fight for opportunity for all.”

Tuesday night, Espaillat said the election was too close to call and was holding out hope that outstanding absentee and affidavit ballots could put him over the top.

The Associated Press declared the 84-year-old Rangel the winner on Wednesday. Rangel led Espaillat 47.4 percent to 43.6 percent, a difference of fewer than 2,000 votes, with 100 percent of the vote counted in unofficial results.

Espaillat Concedes To Rangel In Tight Primary Race

rangel espaillat 0624 Espaillat Concedes To Rangel In Tight Primary Race
WCBS 880's Monica Miller reports

Rangel didn’t wait for Espaillat’s concession or official confirmation before declaring victory. He proclaimed himself the winner during an hour-long primary night speech.

As WCBS 880’s Monica Miller reported, the congressman received pats on the back Thursday at a union rally for airline workers at LaGuardia Airport.

Rangel said he heard from Espaillat regarding his concession “And I suggested that we find ways to heal whatever damages may have been made.”

When asked if he felt he lost confidence in his Hispanic constituents after the election campaign took on ethnic and racial tones, Rangel said he “couldn’t possibly think of anything negative to discuss.”

Espaillat was bidding to become the first person born in the Dominican Republic to be elected to Congress.

He announced Thursday that he is running for re-election to the state Senate.

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