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Charles Rangel Officially Wins Primary

Submitted by on July 10, 2012 – 5:11 pm3 Comments

Weeks of lawsuits and drama ended yesterday when New York state Sen. Adriano Espaillat conceded a congressional primary election to incumbent Rep. Charles Rangel. This victory means that the 82-year-old congressman is “virtually assured of a 22nd term in Congress,” according to the Washington Post‘s The Fix.

Espaillat originally conceded on election night, when initial tallies went in favor of Rangel. But as later vote counts looked closer, Espaillat’s campaign went to court seeking intervention. Espaillat demanded a better counting, and alleged that his supporters had been turned away at polls.

But final vote tallies showed Rangel with a comfortable lead of almost 1,000 votes.

Espaillat said in a statement:

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.

This election represented the toughest and closest campaign in Rangel’s 42-year congressional career. The congressman, who is a legendary leader in the black community, was opened up to vulnerability by redistricting that made his constituency increasingly Hispanic. Rangel was also suffering from health problems, recently spending an extended stay in the hospital to treat a viral infection.

Politically, Rangel’s clout and possibly his long-term reputation were powerfully damaged just after his last reelection in 2010, when a bipartisan House ethics committee unanimously found him guilty of 11 ethics violations. Rangel struggled with money problems to pay for his defense, and was stripped of his influential Ways and Means committee chairmanship.

Still, he has remained immensely popular at home.

What do you think? Will Rangel be reelected? Should he be?

[via Politico]

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