Two-term Republican Rep. Mia Love called Democratic challenger Ben McAdams on Saturday to concede in Utah’s close 4th Congressional District race.
McAdams tweeted around 11 a.m. Saturday that he had just received a call from Love, who “graciously” congratulated him on winning the election.
“I thanked her for her service to our state and country. I wish her the best," McAdams said in the tweet. “There’s a tremendous amount of work to get done and we need bipartisan unity to do it.”
Dave Hansen, Love’s campaign manager, confirmed the concession call.
While the vote count favored McAdams on election night, the edge shifted to Love as more ballots were tallied. When county canvasses certified the final outcome Tuesday, the Democrat finished with a 694-vote margin of victory.
Love has called a news conference for 10 a.m. Monday at Utah Republican Party headquarters in Salt Lake City, giving rise to some speculation that her campaign could challenge the outcome of the race.
Hansen said he had heard some rumblings, but there was no truth to them.
“Yeah, I had heard, ‘Is she going to file a lawsuit. Is she going to do that?’ No. It’s nothing about that. That’s over,” said Hansen.
“Mia just wants to talk about the campaign, talk about politics. She just has some ideas she wants to share with everybody.”
Asked if voters can expect to see Love back running for the seat in two years, Hansen said he had no idea.
“Give her some time; she may be back. We’ll see,” he said.
Love, who was born to Haitian immigrants in Brooklyn, N.Y., was the first and only black Republican woman in Congress.
She was defeated in her first bid for Congress in 2012, when she ran against Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson. Two years later, Matheson — who had twice seen his district go through wholesale reshaping at the hands of a Republican-controlled Legislature — stepped down.
Love then defeated Democrat Doug Owens — first by a narrow edge in 2014, and then by a resounding margin two years later.
The final margin of victory in this year’s contest between Love and McAdams — 694 votes — was just outside the 0.25 percentage-point window for a recount.
McAdams, the two-term mayor of Salt Lake County, has styled himself as a moderate who wants to work on bipartisan legislation.
He said his first priority will be to push for resolving the current uncertainty of so-called “Dreamers” — young adults brought to the country as children by undocumented parents. They had been promised legal residency and job security by former President Barack Obama under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, but that was ended by President Donald Trump, who said Congress should act to resolve the issue. It has not done so.