Democrat Ben McAdams has flipped a US House seat in deep-red Utah, defeating incumbent Republican US Rep. Mia Love by fewer than 700 votes in a race that took two weeks to settle, the AP reports. McAdams defeated Love by a margin barely over what would have been needed to require a recount, according to final results posted Tuesday. McAdams' victory adds to the Democratic majority in a year when they've flipped more than three dozen Republican-held seats across the country to win control of the House of Representatives. The race had been too close to call for the AP until the final votes were tallied. State election officials will certify the results next Monday.
McAdams declared victory Monday night after a release of ballots gave him a margin his campaign believed was insurmountable. "This race was about connecting with Utah," he said. "This race was about who was best positioned to serve Utah and working to not get it caught up in a national, partisan election." Love, the first and only black female Republican in Congress, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. She was seeking a third term. For McAdams—one of the Nancy Pelosi opponents—it's a victory that validates his reputation as an emerging political force in Utah. He pitched himself as a solid moderate, and not a typical Democrat, while calling Love a partisan who almost always votes with President Trump. (Though she's blasted Trump before, and he's returned the sentiment.)