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Espaillat Not Ready to Concede Congressional Primary to Rangel

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State Senator Adriano Espaillat is still not ready to concede to Charles Rangel in their Congressional primary, despite mounting evidence that his path to victory may be non-existent. Michael Scotto filed the following report to NY1.

It seemed to take forever for Rep. Charles Rangel to wrap up his victory speech.

"The stage is shaking. Thank all of you. God bless you. I'm going. OK," Rangel said at the end of his speech Tuesday night.

It's taking even longer for state Senator Adriano Espaillat to admit defeat. The apparent loser in the hotly contested primary said he's not declaring anything until all the ballots are counted.

As of now, Rangel has a lead of a little more than 1,800 votes. The Board of Elections still has to count absentee and affidavit ballots, but based on the number of outstanding ones, it's unlikely that the math will favor Espaillat.

The preliminary results show a divided district. Espaillat did well in Washington Heights and Inwood, while Rangel performed strongly in Harlem and East Harlem, which was hyped as battleground since much of the political establishment there backed Espaillat.

"The Congressman, Rangel, did very well in that area, and Senator Espaillat made basically no inroads except for a little bit in East Harlem, but he did not do anywhere near as well enough as he needed to do in the Harlem area, and there were more votes there, and that was what basically put the congressman over the top," said Steven Romalewski of the CUNY Graduate Center.

Rangel said he will now work to heal the district, some of which was wounded by Rangel's own words.

A whole new set of wounds could open in 2016, when Rangel retires and the race to succeed him becomes a free-for-all.

"When you talk about grooming somebody, I think the way I earned the respect of every part of the district, that whoever succeeds me has to do the same thing and not just come representing one part of the district," Rangel said.

It was a not-so-veiled swipe at Espaillat, who will likely find himself at the center of another heated race should he run again in two years.

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