One of the most closely contested congressional races in the 2020 elections was finally over on Tuesday when the incumbent Democrat conceded to his Republican challenger.
Rep. Ben McAdams (D-UT) conceded the race to rival Burgess Owens some two weeks after the election was held, Utah’s Deseret News reported.
Owens, a former NFL star and Super Bowl champion, is a rising star in the Republican Party and just one of at least a dozen Republican challengers who flipped Democrat-held seats in the House.
Following the concession from McAdams, The Associated Press called the race for Utah’s 4th District, with Owens maintaining a lead of slightly more than 2,000 votes.
According to Deseret News, outgoing Rep. McAdams revealed Monday that he had called Owens to concede the race and “to congratulate him on winning this hard-fought and close race.”
The Democrat noted that while he and his opponent certainly had different political views, there is no doubt that both men love America and he expressed pride that both of them had risen above their respective meager beginnings and backgrounds to become elected representatives.
McAdams, a former state lawmaker and Salt Lake County mayor, won the 4th District seat in the 2018 elections, ousting incumbent Rep. Mia Love (R-UT) in an even closer election, one decided by about 700 votes, The New York Times reported.
Despite the close margins of both elections and the preponderance of negativity in the campaigns, McAdams vowed to ensure that there would be a “smooth transition” between his office and Owens’.
Former Rep. Love, who supported Owens’ effort to reclaim her former seat, congratulated her GOP successor on his apparent victory before McAdams had conceded. “Congratulations to my friend @BurgessOwens, who is poised to become Congressman-elect Owens, on his expected win here in UT-04. His integrity, leadership, selflessness, and honor are admirable and will make a desperately needed return to our great Congressional District,” Love tweeted.
Owens accepts concession
In response to the concession call from McAdams, Owens tweeted, “I received a call from @BenMcAdams he expressed appreciation for the opportunity to serve #UT04 and his commitment to a smooth transition. My sincere thanks to him for both. Thank you my fellow Utahns, I am committed to have an open ear to serve you. Thank you for the opportunity.”
A short time later, Owens again took to Twitter.
“Thank you Utah voters. I’m honored to have the opportunity to serve. I promise to be an open ear for all Utahns and to serve with all I have. Now, it’s time to get to work,” he wrote.