Race Called for Rangel but Espaillat Won’t Concede

A racially split district, a heated race, and too many outstanding ballots for a concession.

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 24: Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) arrives to vote in the Democratic Primary for the 13th congressional district of New York on June 24, 2014 in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City. The 84-year-old congressman faces a tight Democratic primary election against state Sen. Adriano Espaillat. 
National Journal
Jack Fitzpatrick
Add to Briefcase
Jack Fitzpatrick
June 24, 2014, 8:36 p.m.

Rep. Charles Ran­gel has de­clared vic­tory in an­oth­er close primary race and the As­so­ci­ated Press has called the race in his fa­vor, but state Sen. Ad­ri­ano Es­pail­lat still has not con­ceded.

Ran­gel won with 47 per­cent of the vote, while Es­pail­lat had 44 per­cent, pas­tor Mike Wal­rond had 8 per­cent, and Bronx act­iv­ist Yolan­da Gar­cia had 1 per­cent when the AP called the race shortly be­fore 4 p.m. today. Ran­gel’s mar­gin stood at slightly more than 1,800 votes.

“Words can­not de­scribe my over­whelm­ing grat­it­ude to the voters “¦ for stand­ing with me to the very end and giv­ing this vet­er­an his one last fight,” Ran­gel said in a state­ment. He said he hoped “to be­gin the heal­ing pro­cess” after the di­vis­ive primary and an­nounced that he would at­tend a “unity rally” with Rev. Al Sharpton, who did not en­dorse him in the race.

But Es­pail­lat still has not con­ceded, cit­ing out­stand­ing ab­sent­ee and pro­vi­sion­al bal­lots. Es­pail­lat in­sisted that “every single vote needs to be coun­ted in this race,” in a state­ment late Tues­day night, and spokes­wo­man Chelsea Con­nor said Es­pail­lat has not changed his mind since then.

Ran­gel’s reelec­tion bids have be­come more dif­fi­cult since he was cen­sured in 2010 over sev­er­al eth­ics is­sues and es­pe­cially after re­dis­trict­ing in 2012 trans­formed his dis­trict in­to a ma­jor­ity-His­pan­ic con­stitu­ency.

In 2010, he barely won the ma­jor­ity of votes in a six-can­did­ate primary field. And in 2012, he didn’t even get ma­jor­ity sup­port in a crowded field but still beat Es­pail­lat by slightly more than 1,000 votes.

The re­match was ex­pec­ted to be com­pet­it­ive, al­though Ran­gel ap­peared to be ahead late, lead­ing by 13 points in a mid-June NY1/Si­ena Col­lege poll. He also had an ad­vant­age over Es­pail­lat in his re­li­able base of sup­port­ers who have kept him in of­fice for more than four dec­ades. But primary turnout is al­ways un­pre­dict­able, es­pe­cially since New York moved its con­gres­sion­al primar­ies from Septem­ber to June in 2012.

The dis­trict’s di­vided demo­graph­ics led to a di­vided race. In the NY1/Si­ena Col­lege poll, Ran­gel led Es­pail­lat among Afric­an-Amer­ic­an voters 76 per­cent to 6 per­cent, and Es­pail­lat led Ran­gel among His­pan­ic voters 53 per­cent to 29 per­cent. Ran­gel even ac­cused Es­pail­lat of en­ter­ing the race only be­cause he thought he could win over the His­pan­ic pop­u­la­tion.

“Just what the heck has he ac­tu­ally done be­sides say­ing he’s a Domin­ic­an?” Ran­gel said in a de­bate.

The de­bate also fo­cused on the length of Ran­gel’s ten­ure. Es­pail­lat and an­oth­er can­did­ate em­phas­ized their re­l­at­ive youth, while Ran­gel fre­quently mocked Es­pail­lat for his lack of ex­per­i­ence.

Ran­gel also did not have as much sup­port as he used to, miss­ing out on en­dorse­ments from Pres­id­ent Obama and May­or Bill de Bla­sio, both of whom stayed out of the race. In pre­vi­ous cam­paigns, Ran­gel had been en­dorsed by then-May­or Mi­chael Bloomberg, and he once again got Bill Clin­ton’s sup­port.

Ran­gel has said this would be his last reelec­tion cam­paign, mean­ing an­oth­er crowded field of Demo­crats will com­pete to take over the heav­ily Demo­crat­ic seat in two years.

What We're Following See More »
FIRST US ASTRONAUT TO ORBIT EARTH
John Glenn Dead at 95
10 hours ago
BREAKING
SHUTDOWN LOOMING
House Approves Spending Bill
12 hours ago
BREAKING

The House has completed it's business for 2016 by passing a spending bill which will keep the government funded through April 28. The final vote tally was 326-96. The bill's standing in the Senate is a bit tenuous at the moment, as a trio of Democratic Senators have pledged to block the bill unless coal miners get a permanent extension on retirement and health benefits. The government runs out of money on Friday night.

HEADS TO OBAMA
Senate Approves Defense Bill
13 hours ago
THE LATEST

The Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act today, sending the $618 billion measure to President Obama. The president vetoed the defense authorization bill a year ago, but both houses could override his disapproval this time around.

Source:
ANTI-MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE
Trump Chooses Hardee’s/Carl’s Jr CEO as Labor Sec
15 hours ago
BREAKING
BUCKING THE BOSS?
Trump Cabinet Full of TPP Supporters
15 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

"President-elect Donald Trump railed against the Trans-Pacific Partnership on his way to winning the White House and has vowed immediately to withdraw the U.S. from the 12-nation accord. Several of his cabinet picks and other early nominees to top posts, however, have endorsed or spoken favorably about the trade pact, including Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, announced Wednesday as Mr. Trump’s pick for ambassador to China, and retired Marine Gen. James Mattis, Mr. Trump’s pick to head the Department of Defense."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login