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State Sen. Espaillat Declares Victory In 9-Way Dem Primary Race For Rangel's Congressional Seat

ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- State Sen. Adriano Espaillat declared victory in a nine-way Democratic primary race in retiring Rep. Charles Rangel's New York City district.

State Sen. Adriano Espaillat held a small lead over Assemblyman Keith Wright with more than 96 percent of the vote counted -- 37 to 34 percent. Espaillat had failed to knock off Rangel twice before in Democratic primaries.

Wright had the backing of Rangel and other prominent black politicians in a district that has remained a stronghold for black politicians for generations even as the number of Latinos grew.

Wright has not conceded the race.


Rangel won his congressional seat in 1970 by defeating Adam Clayton Powell Jr. in a Democratic primary.

"This campaign ain't over. Every vote is going to be counted," Keith Wright told his supporters Tuesday night. "We worked too long and too hard."

Meanwhile, Rep. Jerrold Nadler won the Democratic primary for a New York City congressional seat he's held for nearly a quarter-century.

Nadler's win came after a contentious primary battle -- the first time he's faced a challenge in a Democratic primary in two decades -- centering on his support for President Barack Obama's Iran nuclear deal. Nadler was the only Jewish Democrat from the city to endorse the deal.

His opponent, Oliver Rosenberg, said he thought voters felt betrayed by Nadler's support of the measure. The former investment banker also accused Nadler of being out of touch with younger voters.

New York City Democrats Gregory Meeks, Nydia Velazquez, Carolyn Maloney and Jose Serrano also fended off primary challenges.

Rangel and Rep. Steve Israel of Long Island are among the four New York congressmen retiring at the end of the year, guaranteeing new faces in the 27-member delegation. Primary contests also are being held in the districts of the two outgoing upstate Republicans: Hudson Valley Rep. Chris Gibson and central New York Rep. Richard Hanna.

Democrat Zephyr Teachout and Republican John Faso will battle for Gibson's seat this fall after winning their primary races.

Teachout, who defeated Will Yandik, became a progressive hero in 2014 by challenging Gov. Andrew Cuomo from the left and grabbing about a third of the primary vote. The Fordham University law professor moved into the district after that race.

Faso is a former state Assemblyman who lost a race for governor in 2006 against Democrat Eliot Spitzer. He defeated first-time candidate Andrew Heaney in the Republican primary.

The district stretches west from the Hudson Valley and is closely split between Democrats and Republicans. Gibson is retiring after three terms.

On Long Island, former Nassau County executive Thomas Suozzi was seeking a political comeback with his run for Israel's seat. He was defeated in his re-election bid for the county post in 2009, several years after an unsuccessful run for governor.

CBS2 reports Suozzi has 36 percent of the vote, Steve Stern has 23 percent, and Jon Kaiman is at 20 percent. Forty percent is needed to avoid a run-off.

In central New York, Hanna's retirement has set up a three-way GOP primary race among Syracuse-area businessman Steve Wells, Utica-area Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney and Binghamton-area history teacher George Phillips.

There's also a hard-fought Democratic primary on the eastern end of Long Island for the opportunity to take on Republican first-term Rep. Lee Zeldin in November. Former Southampton town supervisor Anna Throne-Holst and venture capitalist David Calone had raised $3 million combined by this month.

In the Syracuse area, Colleen Deacon won a three-way Democratic primary and will face Republican first-termer Rep. John Katko in the fall. Deacon, a former aide to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, had lined up support from high-profile Democrats, including her former boss. She was born and raised in Syracuse. Katko defeated a Democrat two years ago in a traditionally competitive district.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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