Adriano Espaillat, Charles Rangel

A combination of two file photos,shows in a June 14, 2011, file photo New York State Sen. Adriano Espaillat, D-Manhattan, left, and in a Dec. 23, 2010 file photo U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink and Richard Drew, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Longtime congressman Charles Rangel says he’s confident he will prevail in his upcoming primary, comparing himself to a seasoned racehorse who continues to win and bring in prize money.

The 22-term New York Democrat spoke to reporters Saturday at a Washington Heights storefront church, where he was endorsed by about a dozen Spanish-speaking ministers.

The 84-old politician dismissed criticism that he was too old to continue serving in Washington.

A Siena College poll released Thursday put Rangel up 13 points over his closest challenger, state Sen. Adriano Espaillat (ah-dree-AH’-noh ehs-peye-YAHT’). The margin of error was 3.7 percentage points.

The primary is Tuesday.

Rangel beat Espaillat in the 2012 Democratic primary by fewer than 1,000 votes.

If elected, Espaillat would be the first member of Congress born in the Dominican Republic.

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