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NYC elections board certifies Rangel victory

Charlie Rangel after winning re-election in New York

Charlie Rangel after winning re-election in New York City. (June 26, 2012) Photo Credit: Getty Images

U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel beat his challenger in a close Democratic House primary by 1,086 votes, or a margin of about 2.5 percent, according to results certified Tuesday by the commissioners of the New York City Board of Elections.

The results were certified a day after state Sen. Adriano Espaillat conceded to Rangel for the second time in as many weeks. Rangel received 19,187 votes, compared to Espaillat's 18,101 votes.

The board's Manhattan borough managers went before the commissioners with their reports before the results were formally certified on Tuesday. They had spent much of last week and this past weekend doing additional vote counts and reviewing ballots that had previously been deemed invalid.

After two weeks of disputed election results and lawsuits, Rangel said in a statement that he's pleased his victory has become official but wishes to unite a divided community.

"I hope to immediately start the healing process in the community so we can work together to improve the lives of the people in Upper Manhattan and the Bronx," Rangel said.

It remains unclear whether Espaillat will seek re-election to his Senate seat. He needs to file a petition to run by Thursday.

If he does run, Espaillat will have an opponent in that primary — Assemblyman Guillermo Linares.

Linares endorsed Rangel over Espaillat and, in turn, received Rangel's endorsement as well. On Tuesday, Rangel reaffirmed his support for Linares on Fox's "Good Day New York."

The congressional primary appeared decided on election night, as Rangel seemed to hold a sizable lead. But the vote margin shrank, leading some to wonder if Espaillat had initially conceded too soon.

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