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June 25, 2014 AT 8:11 AM
Representative Charles Rangel of New York has claimed victory in his Democratic primary as he seeks a 23rd term, but votes were still being counted on Wednesday as his main challenger refused to concede defeat until every vote was tallied. Rangel, an African-American who has been the face of Harlem politics for 40 years, held a slim 1,800 vote lead over state Senator Adriano Espaillat with nearly 100 percent of election districts reporting. After the race was called in his favor late Tuesday, Rangel, 84, declared to uproarious applause among supporters in East Harlem: "This was your victory."