Democrats Flip Central Utah House Seat

In this Aug. 16, 2018, photo, Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams, left, greets a home owners during door knocking in Mill Creek, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

(CN) – Salt Lake City mayor Ben McAdams has defeated Republican incumbent Mia Love by a slim margin in a hotly contested race for Utah’s 4th Congressional District.

McAdams declared victory Monday, nearly two weeks after the midterm elections, though Love did not concede. While Love trailed McAdams until the weekend, when she suddenly took the lead, McAdams pulled ahead on Monday.

A final vote count on the state’s election website put McAdams ahead by just 694 votes, just over the threshold for a recount.

“What we are hearing from election officials is there are just not enough votes outstanding to make a difference either way,” McAdams said at a Tuesday news conference, according to the Salt Lake Tribute. “I am eager to get to work to represent Utah’s 4th District.”

In this Sept. 17, 2018, photo, Republican U.S. Rep. Mia Love speaks during an interview in Murray, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Love, 42, was the first black Republican woman elected to Congress. The daughter of Haitian immigrants, the two-term congresswoman was first elected in 2014, beating Democrat Doug Owens, and won her 2016 re-election bid handily.

McAdams, a former Utah state legislator, positioned himself as a centrist while portraying Love as an out-of-touch politician who consistently favored President Donald Trump’s policies even though Love distanced herself from Trump during her campaign on issues like immigration.

Last week, Trump blasted Love and other Republicans who have lost their races, saying she hadn’t fully supported him.

“Mia Love gave me no love, and she lost. Too bad. Sorry about that, Mia,” he said.

With McAdam’s win, the Democrats have picked up 38 seats in the House. Four others – one in Georgia, one in California and two in New York – remain up in the air.

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