Charlie Rangel’s challenger concedes—again

Rachel Rose Hartman
The Ticket

Rangel victory take two. Nearly two weeks after being declared the winner of his Democratic primary in New York, but then having that thrown into doubt by a large number of outstanding votes, Charlie Rangel appears to have really, really won this time.

Rangel challenger Adriano Espaillat on Monday conceded for the second time to Rangel in the 13th District race following updated vote totals from the New York City Board of Elections released this weekend.

"After a historic campaign where we engaged voters in Manhattan and the Bronx about the bold, new ideas needed to move our city and our country forward, it is clear that we have fallen just a little bit short," Espaillat said in a statement following a press conference at which he announced his decision. "We are proud of the tremendous show of support we received at the polls and even prouder of the fact that our campaign fought for every single vote to be counted. We congratulate Representative Rangel and thank our many supporters for their strong and ongoing support."

Espaillat had first conceded on election night June 26 when Rangel held a two-digit lead over his closest challenger. But as votes continued to trickle in, the lead narrowed, and Espaillat, his supporters and other outside groups alleged potential voting improprieties and voter suppression.

Espaillat filed a lawsuit, which the state Supreme Court was supposed to hear this week. But that hearing appears to be off. News reports indicate Espaillat also announced plans Monday to drop his lawsuit entirely, though he noted that some outside groups may pursue legal action.

Results have yet to be officially certified by the city Board of Elections.

The board on Saturday concluded its count of paper ballots in the race, which included outstanding affidavits, military and absentee ballots. That count put Rangel about 2 percent ahead of Espaillat.