NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel, the 84-year-old "Lion of Harlem," took the stage on his final primary night before a winner had been determined.
He spoke for nearly an hour, delivering a folksy speech that was part thank-you, part real-time political analysis and, eventually, part declaration of victory.
With 99 percent of the vote counted in unofficial results, Rangel was leading state Sen. Adriano Espaillat (ah-dree-AH'-noh ehs-peye-YAHT') 47.4 percent to 43.7 percent, a difference of less than 2,000 votes.
But the Associated Press is not declaring victory because the city Board of Elections could not say how many paper ballots were outstanding.
Rangel showed no such reluctance, declaring he had captured a 23rd term.
However, Espaillat refused to concede, insisting the race is too close to call.