Rep. Charles Rangel survived another political test Tuesday.
The 84-year-old congressional veteran was seeking nomination to a 23rd term, and Wednesday, Associated Press declared him the winner of a tight race. State Sen. Adriano Espaillat mounted a tough challenge, and with 99 percent of the vote in, Rangel was ahead, 47.4 percent to 43.7 percent, according to Associated Press.
“I congratulate Congressman Rangel on his victory,” said Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
“As a decorated veteran and Congressman, Charlie has been a trailblazer, dedicated advocate, and an outspoken voice for New Yorkers in Washington. While Republicans in Congress continue to stack the deck for special interests, Congressman Rangel has fought to protect and strengthen the community in northern Manhattan and the Bronx.”
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Rangel had already been celebrating Tuesday night--speaking for a nearly an hour to supporters.
"This was your victory," Rangel said. "This is your congressman. And you can rest assured all I will be doing is thinking about you and bringing resources back home."
Espaillat would not concede, and there could be a legal challenge.
Rangel is a survivor. He was chairman of the powerful tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, though ethics violations four years ago toppled him from that post. He also faced trouble at home, as his district changed to include more Hispanic voters.