Adriano Espaillat Concedes to Charlie Rangel in Congressional Primary

Congressional hopeful Adriano Espaillat (Photo: Paula Duran).
State Senator Adriano Espaillat (Photo: Paula Duran).

State Senator Adriano Espaillat has conceded to Congressman Charlie Rangel in the 13th district congressional primary — and he will launch a re-election bid for his seat in Albany.

“I want to express my deepest appreciation for all of the efforts of my supporters and volunteers on my campaign for Congress,” Mr. Espaillat said in a statement. “My sincerest thanks goes out to the unwavering endorsements provided to me from all of the labor unions, newspapers, advocacy groups, elected officials, and community leaders.”

The concession comes two days after the election — and two days after Mr. Rangel declared victory in the race. By mid-day Wednesday, the Associated Press had called the race for Mr. Rangel, and other Democrats began to congratulate the 44-year Harlem congressman on holding on to his seat. Mr. Espaillat made a brief phone call to the congressman about two hours before his campaign released a statement on the concession.

Among those who offered Mr. Espaillat “unwavering endorsements” are Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, who said before Mr. Espaillat’s concession Thursday that she believed her support was still “helpful” in East Harlem, though Mr. Espaillat wasn’t able to win there.

In his statement, Mr. Espaillat said he would “continue to fight for Opportunity for All.”

“While much has been written about the politics of race and ethnicity within this District, there is no question that our campaign focused on bringing the community together around our shared needs and struggles,” Mr. Espiallat said. “Today, I am announcing my re-election campaign for the New York Senate from where I will continue to work to find new ways to bring jobs, affordable housing and immigration reform to our community, so that middle and working class families can thrive here.”

When asked on the campaign trail whether he’d run for re-election in the state senate if he lost to Mr. Rangel, Mr. Espaillat often demurred — saying he would win the congressional primary and that he had not been collecting petitions to run for the state senate seat.

Mr. Espaillat will now face a tight deadline to get on the ballot for the fall election — petitions must be filed by July 10. Former Councilman Robert Jackson, a Rangel ally, has also announced that he will run for the seat, and held an official campaign kick-off Thursday, around the same time Mr. Espaillat said he would run again.

Now that he has conceded, Mr. Espaillat will look to make nice with his opponents after what was at times a divisive primary that brought up issues of changing racial demographics in the district. He will join Mr. Rangel and the third-place finished, Pastor Mike Walrond, at a “Unity Rally” being held Saturday by Rev. Al Sharpton, the National Action Network announced Thursday afternoon and Mr. Espaillat’s camp confirmed. Rev. Sharpton was among several influential figures who did not endorse a candidate in the primary.

This story has been updated with information about Mr. Espaillat agreeing to attend the Unity Rally late Thursday afternoon. Adriano Espaillat Concedes to Charlie Rangel in Congressional Primary