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Espaillat Ends Bid For Rep. Rangel's Seat

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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 Inwood, 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.

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.

"This was a very strong and consuming race, financially, in terms of energy. My team is tired," said Espaillat.

The congressman said on Monday that he was looking forward.

"There is so much work to be done in the district and a whole lot of healing that has to be done," said Rangel.

The concession came after the City Board of Elections announced that it had found an additional 28 ballots.

The votes 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.

It was 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.

Should Espaillat choose to run for State Senate, he would already have a challenger. Assemblyman Guillermo Linares said he is going ahead with his bid, even if Espaillat jumps in the race.

Linares endorsed Rangel in the Democratic primary.

"I am looking forward to a vigorous and grassroots campaign," said the assemblyman.

Espaillat said he gave district leaders his blessing to collect signatures for a State Senate run once the Congressional primary was over.

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