Congressman Steve Israel says it’s over.
The chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee congratulated Congressman Charlie Rangel on his victory over State Senator Adriano Espaillat last night, even though Mr. Espaillat has yet to concede the race.
A chunk of the Washington establishment endorsed Mr. Rangel’s candidacy this year.
“I congratulate Congressman Rangel on his victory. As a decorated veteran and Congressman, Charlie has been a trailblazer, dedicated advocate, and an outspoken voice for New Yorkers in Washington,” Mr. Israel, a Long Island Democrat, said. “While Republicans in Congress continue to stack the deck for special interests, Congressman Rangel has fought to protect and strengthen the community in northern Manhattan and the Bronx.”
Mr. Rangel bested Mr. Espaillat by about 2,000 votes last night in the Democratic primary for the 13th Congressional District, according to Associated Press tallies (the AP has since called the race for Mr. Rangel). Mr. Espaillat is waiting for paper and affidavit ballots to be counted before giving in, but it appears establishment pressure is building for Mr. Espaillat to concede. Rev. Al Sharpton, a Democrat not aligned with Mr. Rangel, is calling a “unity rally” for Saturday that appears to be an effort to put an end to the contest.
The two contenders were competing for turf that stretches from upper Manhattan to the Bronx. Also running were Pastor Mike Walrond and Bronx activist Yolanda Garcia; both candidates finished well behind Mr. Rangel.
Mr. Rangel’s campaign, reiterating a statement sent out earlier, said he was “gratified” to voters for the win. Mr. Espaillat’s camp said his position hasn’t changed.