(CNN) - Election officials counting previously untallied ballots in a New York congressional Democratic primary say incumbent U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel is expanding his lead over his top challenger, who went to court last week to ensure counting would continue.
Rangel was 989 votes ahead of state Sen. Adriano Espaillat, New York City Board of Elections spokeswoman Valerie Vazquez said Friday evening after counting had ended for the day in the state's 13th Congressional District. The district includes precincts in both Manhattan and the Bronx.
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Rangel stood at 18,920 votes and Espaillat had 17,931 at the close of business Friday, according to results released by the city's board of elections.
Results released last Saturday showed the 21-term congressman 802 votes ahead of Espaillat. Those figures were released after Espaillat’s campaign filed a lawsuit contending too many ballots were left outstanding in Tuesday's election.
Officials completed a count of valid ballots in the race Friday, and will resume counting Saturday those which were considered invalid on election day - incompletely marked or cast by someone who appeared not to be a registered voter at the time.
"If a campaign chooses to prove an invalid is valid, deemed with appropriate documentation, and consensus from the bipartisan team of board of election staff, it will be considered as a vote," Vazquez said.
Rangel added 143 votes to his lead over Espaillat on Thursday, when city election officials counted 521 ballots.
Espaillat conceded hours after the polls closed June 26, when preliminary results showed him approximately 2,300 votes behind Rangel.
Vazquez said last Saturday there are 3,270 absentee and affidavit ballots (given to voters whose registration status was uncertain on election day) to sort through and potentially count.
Espaillat is Dominican-American in a district where 55% of eligible voters are Hispanic and, if elected, would be the first Dominican-American elected to Congress.
The winner of the Democratic Party primary is expected to win the November general election in the district.
– CNN's Kristina Sgueglia, Jason Kessler, Ashley Killough, and Gregory Wallace contributed to this report
He is the kind of divisive partisan candidate that we don't need in government
I hope Rangel wins, I don't like the other guy.
The The Pope of Greenwich Village.
Charlie! The Bed Bug took my thumb !
Wonder if Holder was stuffing the ballot box for Charlie, like the Demo's did in Washington Govenor election in 2007, with dead people and unregistered alliens?????
Charlies always got the "wind behind him" and that seat will be his until he is no longer.
I guess he paid enough for peoples votes again.
The big story in this primary race today was not the vote counting, but the fact that Rangel allies (led by Keith Wright) met with BOE officials on June 23rd to discuss the location and placement of poll workers prior to the election. It sounds like there may have literally been a conspiracy to suppress Latino votes in this election.
I would throw some reporters on that and dig.
amazing, isn't it ? You hear a lot of people that says things like vote all the incumbents Out of Office, but then when the voting ends, the incumbents stay in, year after year, after year, term, after term, after term. I guess he must have promised the people in the bronx / Queens & the ghetto areas more free stuff. He could have promised them to get federal money (thru earmarks, of course) to fix their sidewalks, and money & grants for everything you can think of.
Replace with young democrat guy. OK.