With 98 percent of precincts reporting, State Senator Adriano Espaillat declared victory Tuesday night in the Democratic primary for the 13th Congressional District seat held by Charles Rangel as his chief rival refused to concede the race.
Espaillat claimed nearly 37 percent of the vote to 34 percent for Assemblyman Keith Wright, who has Rangel's backing.
If his lead holds up, Espaillat would be set to become the first Dominican-born member of the House of Representatives.
He's already looking ahead to what he would focus on in Washington.
In addition, if the results hold, it will be the first time since 1944 that an African-American will not represent Harlem in Congress.
"The voters of the 13th Congressional district made history tonight," Espaillat said. "This campaign establishes that the American dream is still alive."
Wright, who was endorsed by Rangel, has not yet conceded the race. In a speech given shortly before Espaillat's speech, he said the race was not over.
"No candidate can declare victory tonight. Not until every vote is counted," Wright said.
Wright also called for the Department of Justice to investigate voter suppression.
In other races, longtime incumbents Gregory Meeks, Nydia Velazquez, Carolyn Maloney, Jerry Nadler and Jose Serrano have all managed to hold off primary challengers.
In one other open-seat primary, the third Congressional district, which includes parts of eastern Queens, former Nassau County executive Tom Suozzi won the five-candidate race to succeed Steve Israel.