In a statement sent out this afternoon, Sen. Adriano Espaillat conceded the primary for the 13th congressional district to incumbent Democratic Rep. Charlie Rangel. He also declared his candidacy for re-election to the state Senate.
Espaillat had held off on conceding to Rangel, saying he’d wait until “every single vote” was counted before admitting defeat. This comes after the senator’s last attempt to knock off Rangel in 2012 ended in an extremely tight race. As affadavit and absentee ballots continued to be counted in that election, the race grew tighter, eventually ending in a victory for Rangel of less than 1,000 votes.
But it seems Espaillat’s camp realized the vote deficit was too much to overcome this time around. Earlier today, the senator called Rangel to congratulate him on his victory and his long career in the House of Representatives.
Two months ago:
The city’s teachers union, which backed Rep. Charlie Rangel for re-election in 2012, is now looking to unseat him.
The delegate assembly of the United Federation of Teachers voted today to urge the union’s state affiliate, the New York State United Teachers, to endorse State Senator Adriano Espaillat, the leading challenger to Rangel in next month's Democratic primary.
Two years ago, the U.F.T. recommended an endorsement of Rangel.
In a statement, U.F.T. president Michael Mulgrew credited Espaillat with having “been a vocal champion for pre-k funding” and “a leading voice for banning standardized tests for our youngest students,” along with backing a three-year moratorium on using the new Common Core curriculum.
Back during the 2013 mayoral election, Bloomberg called the UFT endorsement the "kiss of death":
The candidates vying to succeed him can "shill" all they want for the teachers union, but they may very well be wasting their time, Mayor Michael Bloomberg told reporters today, during a press conference at the education department headquarters near City Hall.
"The last time the U.F.T.'s endorsement got somebody elected was better than two decades ago, O.K.?" said Bloomberg. "It's almost the kiss of death."
Espaillat made a lot of mistakes in this race - the UFT endorsement was not literally the "kiss of death" that did him in.
I'm sure he garnered a few votes because of Mulgrew's endorsement, but let's be honest here.
The UFT endorsement is pretty much worthless.
The Rangel/Espaillat race is just one more example of that.
You always see the UFT described in the papers as the "powerful" teachers union.