Rangel holds off challenge to win primary in NY

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Associated Press

Posted on June 25, 2014 at 4:01 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 25 at 6:05 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel has won the closely contested Democratic primary in New York's 13th Congressional District as he seeks his 23rd term.

Rangel defeated state Sen. Adriano Espaillat (ay-dree-AH'-noh es-pil-AHT') in unofficial returns. Espaillat was bidding to become the first Dominican-American in Congress.

They also squared off in 2012, a primary Rangel narrowly won.

The 84-year-old Rangel was once arguably the most influential black elected official in the U.S. He says this is his final race. He is known as the Lion of Harlem and has been a liberal voice for a district that was once heavily black but is now majority Hispanic.

The primary had been contentious, with accusations of racially charged language.

Rangel will advance to the general election in November. His district is heavily Democratic.

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