Final vote tally in District 13 primary still unclear
If Rep. Charles Rangel thought he was finished with the toughest re-election campaign of his life on Tuesday night, he may have been mistaken. As results have continued to trickle in, his margin of victory has shrunk significantly, and the possibility of a recount, however remote, has increased.
When the New York Times called the race for Rangel on Tuesday night, the congressman was beating his main challenger for the District 13 seat, State Senator Adriano Espaillat, by about 20 percentage points. Rangel finished the night with a narrower 5.4 percentage point lead, and that lead has since dipped to 2.6 percent, with many votes yet to be counted.
According to unofficial results from The Associated Press, the longtime Harlem Congressman has 16,898 votes to Espaillat’s 15,823 votes—a difference of only 1,075. That tally also doesn’t include 32 of the district’s 506 precincts, or any absentee ballots.
City Board of Elections spokeswoman Valerie Vazquez told CBS Local that absentee ballots would be counted beginning on July 5. It’s also unclear why 32 precincts have seemingly yet to report their results, a day and a half after the polls closed. A manual recount of paper ballots would take place if Rangel’s margin of victory decreased to less than half of a percentage point.
In a statement released yesterday, Espaillat said that the campaign’s message resonated with voters, “as demonstrated by our strong show of support and the voting results that continue to come in,” but he did not comment on the possibility of a recall. A few key Espaillat allies, including City Council member Ydanis Rodriguez, were set to hold a press conference at 3 p.m. outside the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building, where Rangel’s office is located, to stress the importance of counting all the votes.
Despite his shrinking margin of victory, however, Rangel has been back to business since election night, telling NY1 he hasn’t heard about the new numbers “because I’ve been on the floor, I’ve been at legislative meetings, I’ve been at caucuses.” He also tweeted about his attendance at a ceremony for marines and about his excitement at today’s Supreme Court ruling upholding most of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
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