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Adriano Espaillat concedes primary fight against Charlie Rangel

New York State Senator Adriano Espaillat, a contestant

New York State Senator Adriano Espaillat, a contestant for the 13th Congressiontal district in New York, speaking during an election night party on Dyckman Street in Manhattan on Tuesday, June 24, 2014. Photo Credit: Agaton Strom

State Sen. Adriano Espaillat on Thursday conceded to Rep. Charles Rangel two days after the Harlem institution declared victory in his campaign for a 23rd term.

Espaillat, of Washington Heights, called Rangel to congratulate him on his reelection to Congress and "his lifetime of service to the community."

"My sincerest thanks goes out to the unwavering endorsements provided to me from all of the labor unions, newspapers, advocacy groups, elected officials, and community leaders," Espaillat said in a statement. "Even though I will not be representing the 13th District in Congress, I will continue to fight for Opportunity for All."

Espaillat said in his statement he will run for reelection to his state senate seat, which is being contested by former Councilman Robert Jackson.

Rangel beat Espaillat on Tuesday night in the Democrartic Primary 47% to 43%, a margin of fewer than 2,000 votes. The race was Espaillat's second crack at toppling Rangel, who has represented the district since 1971, and taking a Congressional seat that had recently become majority Hispanic and included parts of the Bronx.

Rangel was able to pull out a win with strong performance in Harlem, including Spanish Harlem, while Espaillat, who is Dominican, outperformed Rangel in northern Manhattan.

"While much has been written about the politics of race and ethnicity within this district, there is no question that our campaign focused on bringing the community together around our shared needs and struggles," Espaillat said.

In this race, Espaillatbuilt a coalition of unions and local elected officials that included Latino leaders such as Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. Rangel had support from the Democratic Party bigwigs such as former President Bill Clinton and Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Yet he was unable to get backing from Mayor Bill de Blasio or the Rev. Al Sharpton, who stayed neutral in the race.


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