Rep. Rangel could face recount in Democratic primary

FILE- In this Sept. 22, 2011 file photo, Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-NY, smiles on Capitol Hill in Washington. Ethical clouds are hanging over at least a dozen lawmakers but in most cases they don't appear to be having much of an impact on their re-election prospects. Most center on complicated financial dealings rather than the headline-grabbing, sex-driven Internet scandals that have driven others from office over the past year and a half.
File,AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File

(CBS News/AP) Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., could face a potential recount in his Democratic primary, after an Associated Press report shows him up only 2.8 percent with 32 of the districts 506 precincts and absentee ballots still to be counted.

Rangel's opponent, New York state Sen. Adriano Espaillat, would need to climb within half a percentage point in order to force a manual recount. City Board of Elections spokeswoman Valerie Vazquez told CBS New York the absentee ballots will start being counted on July 5.

With 93 percent of the precincts reporting, the AP's unofficial results currently sit at Rangel with 16,898 votes and Espaillat with 15,823 votes, a difference of only 1,075 votes.

Rangel faced one of the toughest primary challenges of his career this year following an ethics scandal that caused him to step aside from his position as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.

Rangel is the third most senior member of the House, having served in Congress since 1971.