Updated 07/09/2012 08:15 PM
Espaillat ends bid for Rangel's seat
State Senator Adriano Espaillat on Monday officially ended his fight to replace Congressman Charles Rangel in the 13th Congressional District in upper Manhattan and the Bronx. Grace Rauh has more.
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NEW YORK -- State Senator Adriano Espaillat on Monday officially ended his fight to replace Congressman Charles Rangel in the 13th Congressional District in upper Manhattan and the Bronx. He will also drop his lawsuit challenging the longtime incumbent's victory.
Speaking to reporters in Manhattan, Espaillat said he is ready to support his now former opponent on issues affecting the city.
"I look forward to working with him as we move forward in the 13th Congressional District to ensure that the issues that are pertinent to every resident - from the southern part of the district to the northern part of the district and now parts of the Bronx are addressed and taken care of," Espaillat said.
"Certification is an issue that still has to happen and it should happen by Monday. I hope that from now until then our combined forces can start talking with each other for the good of the community," Rangel said.
Espaillat did not immediately announce plans to run for re-election for his State Senate seat.
The deadline for filing petitions in that race is Thursday.
The concession comes after the City Board of Elections announced that it had found more than two dozen extra votes.
The additional 28 ballots were not counted last week, when board officials painstakingly finished their hand-count of ballots.
The final tally, or what was thought to have been the final count, showed Rangel with a 990-vote lead over Espaillat.
Even if the votes were to go to Espaillat, they would only make a small dent in Rangel's lead and are certainly not enough to change the results of the election.
This is just the latest twist in a bizarre post-election fight.
On primary night, almost two weeks ago, Espaillat gave a concession speech. But it turned out the race was not over yet.
Rangel's margin of victory shrank as more votes were counted and Espaillat challenged the validity of the election in court.
Over the past two weeks, the Board of Elections has come under relentless fire for its handling of the vote count.