Rangel's margin of victory over Espaillat narrows

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NEW YORK (AP) — New York congressman Charles Rangel’s margin of victory in Tuesday’s Democratic primary has narrowed as additional returns have been counted.

An Associated Press tally of incomplete returns gave Rangel a 2.7 percentage point margin over state Sen. Adriano Espaillat, a native of the Dominican Republic. Rangel had led by double digits on election night.

An unknown number of absentee ballots, plus returns from 32 of the district’s 506 precincts, remain to be counted when the vote is certified next month.

Rangel faced one of his toughest fights since being elected to Congress in 1970.

He was tainted by an ethics scandal that led to his censure in the House in 2010. Redistricting also made the district majority Hispanic, seemingly favoring Espaillat.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.