Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., survived the toughest primary challenge of his 41-year career Tuesday night, winning the nomination for a 22nd term in New York's 13th Congressional District.
The Associated Press called the race at 11:01 p.m.. With 66 percent of precincts reporting, Rangel had 51 percent of the vote and his closest challenger, state Sen. Adriano Espaillat had 32 percent. Three other candidates split the remainder.
Age and ethics issues contributed to Rangel's problems, just as they did in 2010, when he was held to 51 percent in the Democratic primary amidst an ethics investigation that later led to a congressional censure. This cycle, Rangel was further endangered due to redistricting, which boosted the Hispanic population in his district to 55 percent of total residents and gave Espaillat, a Dominican-American, an opening to rally that community behind a historic opportunity to elect a Hispanic to Congress.
But Rangel's tested campaign had the most reliable turnout operation and the benefit of four decades worth of name ID for its candidate, while his challengers had only a few months to introduce themselves to voters. Rangel's advantage was compounded by New York's early primary date -- the state's primaries are usually held in September, and turnout was low throughout the state.