After serving in the United States House of Representatives for an unbroken 43 years, 84-year-old Congressman Charlie Rangel has won yet another term, defeating Democratic primary challenger and New York State Senator Adriano Espaillat. With 98 percent of precincts reporting, WNYC's election results show Rangel as the winner, with 47 percent of the vote to Espaillat's 43 percent, or roughly 1,800 votes. But Espaillat has refused to concede, saying there are still absentee ballots that need to be counted. There are, but that's probably not going to help him out much.
Rangel in a 2012 campaign against homophobia.
Espaillat, 59, previously challenged Rangel in 2012, who still managed to squeeze out a narrow victory, defeating the younger man by less than 1,100 votes. That was particularly impressive given that his 2010 censure by the House was still fairly fresh in voters' minds. Rangel was censured for failing to pay taxes on a villa in the Dominican Republic, and for hoarding four rent-stabilized apartments, one of which he illegally used as a campaign office. Espaillat challenged the election results for more than a week after the June 26 election in 2012 before eventually conceding defeat.
The other challengers in this year's race didn't fare particularly well, although Pastor Michael Walrond, who lives in New Jersey but has a church in Harlem, still garnered about 1,000 votes, enough to slightly tamper with Rangel's lead. Meanwhile, Bronx activist Yolanda Garcia, who mainly made news for claiming that someone in the Espaillat campaign had come to her house to threaten her in the middle of the night, won barely over 200 votes.More »