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Espaillat Refuses to Concede Congressional Primary

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Rep. Charles Rangel's win means another close loss for state Senator Adriano Espaillat, but even after almost all the votes had been counted, he wouldn't concede that he fell short in his bid to become the first Dominican-American in the House of Representatives. NY1's Josh Robin filed the following report.

Adriano Espaillat wouldn't concede.

"We have reviewed the results as they continue to come in, and we feel this race is too close to call," he said Tuesday night.

However, his supporters' dejected looks made it clear. Another narrow loss for the state senator from Upper Manhattan.

"I do want to thank all of you for the efforts that you put into this race," Espaillat said. "This is a historic race, and one that we should all be proud of."

Those supporters helped Espaillat reorder his campaign after his first loss in 2012.

This time, he shifted strategies, focusing on policy over his ethnicity. He also collected more endorsements in key areas.

"We still can go home tonight with our heads up high," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Diaz switched to Espaillat after backing Rangel two years ago. He said it wasn't the prime reason, but he did note the growing power of the Dominican-American community.

Diaz wouldn't compare the political strength of African-Americans versus Latinos.

"I refuse to accept the fact that there's that type of division between the communities. I just think that going against a 40-plus-year incumbent," he said. "Look, I was with Charlie the last time. His charisma, he's an institution."

An institution that defeated this challenger for the last time.

Rangel said he's not running again, but it's too soon to say whether Espaillat will vie for the seat again in 2016 and hope that the third time is the charm.

Web extra: Espaillat Addresses Supporters on Primary Night


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