An investigation of ballot complaints has led to an ever-tightening race for embattled 21-term Rep. Charles Rangel, who had been thought to be the winner of last week's Democratic primary, CNN reported.
New unofficial numbers released Saturday night by New York City's Board of Elections now show Rangel ahead of his main challenger, state Sen. Adriano Espaillat, by just two percentage points -- 44 percent to 42 percent -- with 802 votes separating them and more than 3,000 votes unaccounted for.
The figures come after Espaillat’s campaign filed a lawsuit contending that too many ballots were left outstanding in Tuesday's election. The new margin includes votes cast in electronic voting machines.
"With each new tally, Senator Espaillat's vote total increases. As paper ballots begin to be counted and this dead-heat race continues, we are grateful to all of our supporters and will continue to push for full transparency in counting every single vote," Espaillat's spokesperson Ibrahim Khan said in a statement.
The state Supreme Court will hold a hearing on Monday on the election results.
Espaillat conceded defeat to Rangel on Tuesday night, as results at the time showed the congressman -- whom the House censured in 2010 for a series of ethics violations -- had won about 45 percent of the vote, compared to Espaillat at 40 percent, in a multi-candidate race.