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.