Rep. Charlie Rangel celebrates victory though primary too close to call

Rep. Charles Rangel won after his opponent conceded

Rep. Charles Rangel won after his opponent conceded the primary.

NEW YORK - Incumbent Rep. Charlie Rangel is claiming victory in the 13th Congressional District Democratic primary, but the race is still officially too close to call.

The longtime congressman is slightly ahead of state Sen. Adriano Espaillat. The Associated Press has called the race for Rangel.

Espaillat, who hopes to become the first person born in the Dominican Republic to be elected to Congress, has refused to concede.

The 84-year-old Rangel is looking to serve his 23rd and final term in office in a district that covers parts of the Bronx and Harlem. Voters headed to the polls all day Tuesday, with Espaillat claiming the majority of Bronx votes and Rangel leading the way in Manhattan.

A Board of Elections spokesperson says there are about 980 absentee ballots still waiting to be counted. The number is expected to grow, because the board accepts absentees through next Tuesday. Workers also have to go through affidavit ballots that were filled out at polling places. They say it could be another two weeks before a definite answer is known.

Meanwhile, in another local race, Rep. Jose Serrano is holding onto his seat in the 15th District after defeating opponent Sam Sloan.

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