Finally, it's over.
When we started reporting on the Rangel/Espaillat primary race last week, the challenger to the Harlem Congressman's throne was ready to take the vote count to court. The race was close
but it wasn't that
close; the State Senator Adriano Espaillat was contesting 2,110 votes, of which he had to snag 60 percent or so to actually claim victory over Charles Rangel, the 21-term Representative. As the recount continued, it was evident
that the Congressman's lead was growing and Espaillat's attempt had backfired.
But, as of this morning, it is safe to say
that United States Rep. Charles Rangel will return to Congress on his 22nd term since there is no registered Republican challenger in the general election this November. According to a Board of Election spokesperson, after the recount, the votes were tallied up; Rangel received 18,940 votes while Espaillat, just off by 990 votes (which, we admit, is actually a close race, using Bush v. Gore as our go-to example), received 17,950 votes.
Good thing November, as of Friday, is only four months away.
Now, for this all to officially end, the Board's commission must verify the results - a process that will likely happen by this Tuesday. With the injunction and legal matters to still attend to, the two contesters are to meet in court this Wednesday to finalize the whole election. This is a necessary deadline for Espaillat, who must declare his candidacy for the State Senate by Thursday.
Technically, Espaillat could still argue the results and drag this one out a bit longer. But, with that State Senate re-election in mind, he must decide if he wants to continue down that path or just give up and call it a day. Does he want to dedicate his time to a seat in Albany that he will probably grab again or the 990 vote margin against a Congressman who was just recently found
guilty of 11 ethics violations? Not going to lie: that's a tough decision.
But, for our own horse-race reporting sake, we kind of hope he chooses the latter.