Updated July 9, 6:50 p.m. ET
State Sen. Adriano Espaillat has conceded a second time in the Democratic primary for New York’s 13th District, where he was challenging longtime Rep. Charlie Rangel. The concession capped a confusing two-week vote count during which Espaillat made heated allegations against city election workers.
Espaillat announced his concession Monday, acknowledging that Rangel won the race, according to New York 1.
Rangel initially declared victory — and Espaillat conceded — nearly two weeks ago. At that point, Rangel seemingly led by more than 2,300 votes. But 79 out of 506 precincts were initially entered by mistake into the system as having cast zero votes. When those errors were corrected, Rangel’s lead shrunk to just 802 votes.
Over the weekend, the City Board of Elections announced it had counted the remaining absentee and provisional ballots — boosting Rangel’s lead to 990 votes.
Espaillat filed suit last week, alleging a series of irregularities in the primary regarding the suppression of Latino voters who might have been expected to vote for him. The suit charged that city election workers would not allow his campaign representatives to properly observe the vote count.
The Espaillat campaign asked for a full hand count of the ballots, or potentially even a new election.
In response, Rangel held a fiery press conference Wednesday in which he declared: “You cannot do this by knocking the system. You can’t just do this by calling people crooks.”
Update: Rangel thanked his supporters in a statement late Monday, and extended an olive branch to Espaillat:
“I congratulate State Senator Adriano Espaillat for running an ambitious campaign. Although there was no evidence found, I look forward to working with him to uncovering any possibility of voter suppression or fraud, as well as to foster reconciliation and unity across the communities that became divided during the campaign.
“I will continue to focus on addressing some of the most serious challenges we are facing as a City, State and country, and making sure that President Barack Obama is re-elected.”