Despite the predictions of Democratic Party leaders that they would expand their majority in the House of Representatives, the GOP managed to flip at least a dozen seats, giving Democrats one of the slimmest congressional leads in recent memory.
One Republican candidate has apparently turned Utah’s 4th District red again after his opponent, Rep. Ben McAdams (D-UT) conceded the race on Monday, as reported by the Salt Lake Tribune.
“I love this country”
Former NFL player Burgess Owens was not been officially declared the winner, but McAdams, who narrowly defeated incumbent GOP Rep. Mia Love in 2018, effectively ended the race with his remarks this week.
The moderate Democrat held a virtual press conference on Monday afternoon during which he conceded the race and confirmed that he “called Burgess Owens to congratulate him on winning this hard-fought and close race.”
He went on to stress that his campaign had been “centered around a rejection of extremism and the need for leaders that will put the needs of the people they represent before any political party,” explaining that he will “remain committed to that ideal” despite the apparent loss.
“I love this country,” the congressman added, celebrating the fact that he — “the son of a single mother elementary school teacher” — and Owens — “the great-grandson of a slave” — were able to compete against each other for a seat in the House of Representatives.
McAdams said that neither candidate came “from money or power” and, despite their partisan differences, they both share a love for the United States.
“Thank you for the opportunity”
Owens referenced the call from his rival in a tweet on Monday.
“I received a call from [McAdams] he expressed appreciation for the opportunity to serve [Utah’s 4th District] and his commitment to a smooth transition,” he tweeted. “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.”
The had been close throughout the election cycle, with both candidates jockeying for the lead in recent weeks and margins as small as dozens of votes.
In the end, the race appears to have been decided by just over 2,000 of the roughly 350,000 votes cast.
Owens later expressed his gratitude to the district’s voters for the opportunity to represent them in the upcoming legislative session.
He tweeted: “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.”