State Senator Adriano Espaillat declared victory against his challenger Guillermo Linares tonight, fending off spirited campaign that a reignited rivalries both old and new. The officially reported numbers currently have Mr. Espaillat ahead by a 2-1 margin with many outstanding precincts, indicating that his internal numbers are likely accurate as to who the ultimate victor will be.
Notably, when Mr. Espaillat challenged veteran Congressman Charlie Rangel in the Democratic primary earlier this year, Mr. Linares backed the incumbent even as the local Dominican-American community rallied behind Mr. Espaillat’s bid. During the campaign, Mr. Linares announced his intentions for Mr. Espaillat’s seat and held true to that promise even after the state senator said he would run for reelection.
Mr. Rangel and some of the county establishment came out strong for Mr. Linares in this race, holding a press conference condemning a controversial Espaillat campaign mailer in the strongest terms possible days before voters headed to the polls. However, a number of forces rallied on Mr. Espaillat’s behalf, including 2013 mayoral contenders Scott Stringer, Bill Thompson and Bill de Blasio, all of whom were at his victory party tonight.
Additionally, Mr. Linares’ daughter Mayra ran for his old assembly seat this cycle. At the moment, she’s trailing the Espaillat-backed candidacy of Gabriela Rosa.