Democrats may have just made the Blue Wave a little bigger as Ben McAdams declared victory in a back-and-forth House race in Utah.
As Fox 15 Now reported, the Salt Lake City mayor said on Monday afternoon that his slim lead was too much for Republican incumbent Mia Love to overcome. After taking a lead on election night but losing the lead to Love as votes were counted, McAdams clung to a lead of 739 votes on Monday as new numbers came in from Salt Lake County.
The lead led McAdams to declare victory, though Love has not yet conceded and the race has not been officially called.
“I’m eager to get to work,” McAdams said at a news conference at his campaign headquarters (via the Deseret News).
“We are confident there is no way Rep. Love will retake the lead.”
McAdams had been predicting the victory for days, even traveling to Washington to attend orientation for new members of the House.
But the race has not been without drama in its closing days. The vote counting had seen some dramatic swings in the last day, with both candidates overtaking the other at points. Love took the lead on Friday and grew her advantage up to 1,516 after receiving strong results from the conservative Utah County. But McAdams was able to regain the lead Monday afternoon on the strength of Salt Lake County vote totals.
As the Deseret News noted, the race had gained some national attention in the final weeks. McAdams promised voters in right-leaning Utah that he would not support Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House, while Love had repeatedly tried to tie McAdams in with the California Democrat.
Love also tried to distance herself from her party leadership, refusing any help from Donald Trump and ultimately earning the president’s ire. In a press conference after Election Day, Trump praised the Republican gains in the U.S. Senate but mocked Republican candidates who distanced themselves from him or turned down offers of help.
He mentioned Mia Love specifically.
“Mia Love gave me no love and she lost,” Trump said (via the Salt Lake Tribune). “Too bad. Sorry about that, Mia.”
— Jim Spiewak (@JimSpiewak) November 20, 2018
Counties are set to certify the election results on Tuesday, with Ben McAdams holding a lead of 134,890 votes to 134,151 for Mia Love. If the results hold, it would be the 39th seat picked up by Democrats as they retake the House from Republicans.