Cochran Wins Primary, Rangel Race Too Close to Call

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2014-06_434b841b30.jpgVStock/Thinkstock (NEW YORK) -- At least one veteran member of Congress survived a fierce challenge from an upstart Tuesday in his primary while another awaits the count of absentee and provisional ballots to determine his political future. In Mississippi, U.S. Republican Senator Thad Cochran won a run-off election against Tea Party challenger Chris McDaniel by a thin margin.

It was an impressive comeback for Cochran, a member of the Senate since 1978, after McDaniel had actually bested him in the first round of voting earlier in June.

The race was called the nastiest on record with McDaniel describing the incumbent as old and out of touch.

Cochran, however, had the backing of the GOP establishment while McDaniel's campaign was funded from almost entirely outside the state. The senator will face Democrat Travis Childers in the general election.

McDaniel didn't concede the election in remarks to supporters, suggesting bitterly that his opponent only won because the state allowed Democrats to vote and that Cochran pandered to them in a desperate move to win.

Meanwhile in New York City, Democratic Congressman Charles Rangel appeared to have held off a challenge by state Senator Adriano Espaillat to presumably win his primary by about 2,000 votes.

Espaillat came close to defeating Rangel two years ago and while it looked like he would finally unseat the veteran lawmaker, Rangel apparently prevailed again in the now largely Latino district even though his challenger is a Dominican-American.

If Rangel stays ahead of his challenger after absentee and provisional votes are counted, he is virtually assured of winning a 23rd term in Congress this November.

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