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Charlie Rangel Wins Primary
In the New York primary, Charlie Rangel faced another tough challenge Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 4 p.m. | Rep. Charles B. Rangel, D-N.Y., has averted the end of his political career again, securing a 23rd term in Congress after Tuesday’s highly competitive primary.

Rangel defeated his two-time foe, state Sen. Adriano Espaillat, 47 percent to 44 percent, in the heavily Democratic district. The Associated Press declared Rangel the winner on Wednesday afternoon.

The 84-year-old Democrat declared victory earlier that day and underscored this was his final campaign, referring to this primary as his “one last fight.”

“I am grateful for this special privilege to continue serving my beloved community and friends, both my dearest old friends in Upper Manhattan and new ones in the Bronx, whom I have had the greatest honor of representing in Congress,” he said in a statement. “I’ve got a lot of fight in me and will not let them down.”

Espaillat had not conceded by Wednesday afternoon. Instead, he drew comparisons to the 2012 match that went into overtime with the ballot counting in a statement.

“As we learned in 2012, every single vote needs to be counted in this race. Given the thousands of votes outstanding, the people of Upper Manhattan and The Bronx deserve a full accounting of every vote to achieve a complete and accurate tally in this race,” Espaillat said.

Hours before polls closed, Espaillat — who lost to Rangel in the 2012 primary by less than 1,000 votes last cycle — declared Rangel a “liability” for House Democrats.

Rangel faced one of the most difficult challenges of his elected career in this race. Earlier this year, CQ Roll Call named him in our “10 Most Vulnerable Members of Congress” list.

Rangel’s campaign benefited financially from his allies in Congress, who were confident of his chances for victory.

New York’s 13th District is rated a Safe Democratic contest by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

New York’s 1st District

State Sen. Lee Zeldin secured the GOP nomination to take on Democratic Rep. Timothy H. Bishop this fall, giving national Republicans a big break in a targeted House race.

Zeldin defeated attorney George Demos with 63 percent of the vote at the time The Associated Press called the race. Demos had 37 percent.

National Republicans deemed Zeldin a top recruit early in the cycle, although few were certain he would win the party’s nod over the deep-pocketed Demos.

Now that he is the nominee, it is likely that Bishop’s Long Island-based 1st District will be a top battleground in the fall.

The race is rated Leans Democratic by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

New York’s 4th District

Westward on Long Island, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice won the Democratic nomination to succeed retiring Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y.

Rice had 82 percent of the vote when The Associated Press called the race. Her rival had 18 percent support.

The race is rated Safe Democratic by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

New York’s 21st District

Former White House aide Elise Stefanik defeated repeat candidate Matt Doheny for the Republican nomination in this upstate district.

With 79 percent of precincts reporting, Stefanik led Doheny with 60 percent, according to the AP.

Stefanik’s victory comes after more than $1 million in outside funds flooded the district, airing ads attacking Doheny. A recent poll gave Stefanik an 8-point edge over Doheny. She also had the support of the vast majority of county party committees, which wield great influence in the Empire State’s ballot access process.

Rep. Bill Owens, D-N.Y., announced his retirement in January, creating the wide-open race for his seat in November.

Stefanik, who worked in the Bush administration and on Romney campaign, will face former filmmaker and Democratic nominee Aaron Woolf.

Though Doheny is still technically the nominee for the Independence Party, he signaled before the election he would try to have his name removed from the ballot if he lost the Republican primary.

A few of the House Republican women have helped Stefanik with her bid through Project GROW, program designed to help female GOP candidates. The effort has a mixed record.

If elected in November, Stefanik, 29, would be younger than any current member of Congress.

The race is rated Tossup by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

New York’s 22nd District

Rep. Richard Hanna, R-N.Y., survived a tea party primary challenge Tuesday night and won the GOP nomination for his re-election.

Hanna had 53 percent of the vote at the time The Associated Press called the race on Tuesday. His tea party rival, state Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney, trailed with 47 percent.

Hanna was in a stronger financial position over the course of the primary.

In the wake of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s stunning June 10 primary loss, Republicans speculated Hanna could be in peril as well. But now that he has the GOP nomination in the bag, he is expected to coast to re-election.

The race is rated Safe Republican by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

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