Veteran Congressional Leader Claims Victory in Tight Race

Representative Charles Rangel celebrates primary win amid an ethics controversy and a race that is too close to call.
11:59 | 06/25/14

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Transcript for Veteran Congressional Leader Claims Victory in Tight Race
Similar -- she wanted you to go home and no. That this was your victory. This is -- Congressmen. And you can rest his show. All I will be doing this thinking about -- and bring in these resources so. Thank you will not -- jango moves show that seek to it's not as -- does that nuts -- Would you -- -- -- that may go to photos. Mancuso very lives. Veteran congressional figure claiming victory but in reality his primary battle is still too close to call. And around the country note tea party for two candidates aiming to unseat some GOP fixtures. I'm Michelle Franzen a New York we want to get right into that race here at New York involving. Congressman Charles Rangel hurt by its own -- scandals and maybe more so. By the redistricting of his once solid voter base he's challenged by state senator Adriano SP and watching it all for us WABC's -- The -- -- -- so what is the latest on. The boats that are still need to count. Promised on the board of elections here in New York City has not officially declared a winner in the thirteenth congressional primary. Saying it's too close to -- at about 18100 clouds. That Rangel has that he had state senator Adriano SB -- I got it not concede it. He wants every vote counted Rangel on the other hand authority declared victory says he's confident and comfortable with them margin that he has right now -- 18100 votes. -- the board of elections has to do now is start counting those absentee ballots they've RD. Verified about 900 -- so. They're waiting for the rest to comment but they are not ready. To declare a winner at this time John and Lisa this race a rematch the last time Rangel was challenged by -- -- was 2012. This time around it was a much more bitter race right. And write and act the last around there's only a thousand votes in between -- it was actually closer the last time and because the district has changed so much to used to be a majority African Americans -- -- to mostly Hispanic. A lot of racial politics were stirred up due to campaign and some you know quite sharp remarks between -- -- candidate. So wrangles already claiming victory but what are we hearing from -- -- -- campaign. He can't have this morning he says he will not concede he's meeting with this team today to trying to got their next move but. At this point he won't concede the board election. Won't declare a winner so we're in a holding pattern. The four elections those absentee ballots the final ones they are due in next Tuesday. At that point when they get everything and that has already been sent out they have had about 2800 once they get and then they can start counting. That process itself we'll take a couple of weeks so it still could be some time before we especially now will be the next congressman let -- -- this -- WABC's Lisa -- -- scene reporting from Harlem in New York City thank you for that report. And let's bring in ABC news. Senior Washington correspondent -- felony now Jeff are you surprised by this razors and only by Charles wrangle over -- a power. Michelle I'm really not surprise to me in some respects representative Rangel is lucky he's leading -- all -- mean this is the and we are seeing. -- -- and is not a very popular place so anyone who's running as an incumbent. Always has a bit Avaya a higher bar but look he has a lot of goodwill. In that -- district so perhaps not that surprising he's holding on but the fact that he. Was -- -- has been congress for four decades the fact that he had a close race at all is really is Lisa said it. It is a perfect example of how this district has changed so much since he was first elected. Give us an idea how that district has changed -- out it has been a majority African American but now it's 52% Hispanic. And also are his prior issues with ethics violations come -- at the -- I think there's no question that his ethics violations are coming into play -- to some degree in this has been going on for so so long. He was stripped of his chairmanship he was stripped of his power in the committee. So he has a lot of seniority here in the House of Representatives but the fact of the matter is that representative Rangel is not the the a powerful congressman he used to be key. Pled guilty to or he accepted responsibility rather for some of those ethics violations a couple years ago so he quite frankly as one of the -- -- members who was still. Walks around here in Washington blocks surrounding the capitol building has a lot of seniority -- really has lost allotted -- way. One of the reasons he said from the outside look this is going to be my last time running for election this is my last a term that was. Kind of an approach to but to get over the -- finish line and it looks like it probably worked -- and it looks like he's likely to be. Declared the winner here but you know we'll see how those absentee and provisional ballots turn -- And Jeff it's been an. Busy in other parts of the country let's turn to two races which -- defeat for the Tea Party candidates. First Mississippi where senator Thad Cochran held off a serious challenge by state senator Chris McDaniel. Any surprises at this close margin. I think a lot of surprises I mean so many Republican senators we talked to yesterday and in recent days were really worried that senator Thad Cochran. Would be one of the the incumbent suicide. Falling to defeat that he did not to let that happen really very interesting strategy that the -- Cochran not. A campaign in Mississippi and other supporters did. Now on. They decided to go outside the normal. Rules and boundaries of a Republican primary to get to Democrats and others to vote form which is perfectly legal in Mississippi -- it's an open primary anyone can vote. So they decided to. It's. Show that Chris McDaniel is an unacceptable leader a four some voters in Mississippi so they played over and over and over some commercials of him making some incendiary remarks on his talk radio show. They reached out to African American voters they reached out to democratic voters. And they really pulled him over the finish line so it was a big surprise to every Republican I talked to here on Capitol Hill last night and -- this morning. That test Specter senator. And Cochran was able to pull this off. And that prompted make -- old -- say that this primary was decided by Liberal Democrats. Is -- -- accurate assessment. We don't know exactly that was decided by them but it certainly you know some Democrats certainly played a role we talked to many voters down there -- other news organizations did as well that several voters said they were voting for a Republican for. The first time but again all by the rules it's an open primary system anyone -- register to vote in Mississippi. Can vote so I think the bigger issue here is make Daniel Chris McDaniel a young states lawmaker from Mississippi he thought he had this in the back. He thought. And -- he was going to ride this in kind of a wave of enthusiasm but his his level of support clearly had a ceiling to it and he did not work until the very end. He he calls his -- victory unstoppable you know. Almost a week ago and it didn't turn out to be but that was the case -- so. It was once again we say it all the time but campaigns matter and he did not run the strongest campaign yesterday. Over to Oklahoma now where James Lankford won the GOP nomination over TW Shannon -- big Tea Party guns came out for Shannon. Sarah Palin and Texas senator Ted crews are you surprised that neither of these. Helped get that get it done for Shannon. Sure I think we're always surprised in from the outside. I'm here in Washington another place -- evil motto if Sarah Palin's going in if Ted Cruz is going in. In of their candidate must be leading -- winning that's not always how it works usually they support someone who looks like they're winning but. What was happening on the ground and Oklahoma was far more instructive. And the top endorsement in this race really the only endorsement probably that mattered was the blessing from. Senator Tom -- board. He is retiring this is his seat and very popular Oklahoma Republican senator he's been -- known as an independent senator he watches government spending he's a hot. Really is is very well in touch with his. Its entire state of Oklahoma. He endorsed represented -- so that endorsement so much more important than any outside endorsement from Sarah Palin -- hander Ted crews sweeping -- And really it just -- was one more example how last night was a very strong night for the GOP establishment if you will. And that these outside forces these insurgent forces inside -- party did not have a good night and off. So strong night for the GOP of course the Tea Party -- had a couple of wins of their own how do you feel about this today if you are Tea Party member member. And how are those -- Sort of analysts taking this despite the losses are they also making an impact because -- candidates. -- it this far. No doubt about it the the Tea Party sentiment the Tea Party spirit is having a big -- on this Republican Party but mid term elections in these popular. I'm. Congressional and governor's races they are actually a series of local contests national -- play a small role but they really do not play. As big of a roles in a presidential campaign so we like to over analyze sometimes what the -- Tea Party fibers of the establishment fight. It's generally about how strong a local campaign is how strong a local candidate -- but what we see going on here in other. Is still an internal feud inside the Republican Party and the best way to describe it is -- the establishment verses in these cities outside. And conservative Tea Party forces but there's no doubt that even though the establishment has won more primaries this year. You know that these strong conservative forces have had a big effect because they have helped -- these establishment Republicans farther toward the right. It is no longer a safe place to be a moderate Republican anymore you can't even identify yourself is that so that is one -- tea parties -- And we want to look ahead a little bit when he sixteen regarding the New York Times report that New Jersey governor Chris Christie is under investigation. This time involving another -- scandal the times reporting that the Manhattan DA along with security and exchange commission. Are looking into whether Christie's administration committed security law violations. Regarding a one point eight billion dollar repair. On the Pulaski Skyway. Could this be another potential presidential killing headache for Chris Christie. Well there's no doubt that this is a very serious matter but it's also you know just kind of more. Of the same -- fact if you're a Republican voter and you were concerned about the first -- gate scandal this'll probably only add to that. But it. It's probably not going to change any. -- any new mines to what it means is that Chris Christie is going to have its hands full in New Jersey he does not have the luxury. A reaching out -- Republican voters in Iowa New Hampshire and South Carolina in other. A states he has his hands full in with these investigations as well as the -- budget difficulties in his own backyard. In New Jersey so you know this shows once again. His presidential aspirations are not under his own control in fact there in the control of prosecutors never a good place to be but again far far far too early I think to rule out. You know. How strong he'll be in 2016. You know I think American voters have very short attention spans so if he's cleared of any wrongdoing in fact he's not been charged of course if he's never charged. I think he still has just get a shot as anyone it it's a wide open Republican field Michelle. -- felony thank you for joining us on Capitol Hill thank you. -- reminder that you can keep up with all these stories in real time. I download in the ABC news -- and -- in this story for exclusive updates on the ago. For now I'm Michelle Franzen in New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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