One of the final House races to be decided in the 2022 cycle went to the Republicans after a close contest in which the Democrat trailed by only a few hundred votes.
Republican John Duarte won California’s 13th Congressional District after his Democratic rival, Adam Gray, conceded on Friday.
“After weeks of incredibly hard work by our election workers, the result has become clear,” Gray said in a statement posted on Twitter. “While I had hoped for a different outcome, I accept the results and have called to congratulate my opponent, John Duarte.”
More than 130,000 ballots were cast, and the Democrat said that the outcome will be decided by “just a few hundred votes.”
With Duarte emerging victorious, House Republicans are projected to hold a narrow majority in the lower chamber with 222 seats compared to 213 seats controlled by the Democrats, according to CNN.
One race — Rep. Lauren Boebert’s (R-CO) bid for reelection — is still up in the air as it was close enough to trigger a recount.
Democrats are poised to be temporarily down a member next term after Rep. Donald McEachin (D-VA) died on Monday at the age of 61 following a battle with cancer. State law dictates that the governor, who right now is Glenn Youngkin (R-VA), will be the one to call a special election. McEachin’s district, which includes Richmond, is expected to stay with the Democrats, as it is a heavily blue area.
Exactly how many seats Republicans and Democrats have could prove critical in the contest for House speaker due to the slim margin. Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is positioned to snag the role, but he’ll need to garner at least 218 votes in January. A handful of Republicans have voiced opposition to McCarthy’s ascension to the speakership.
Duarte, a farmer and businessman, will represent a district in the Central Valley. His campaign website pledges that he will “fight the high cost of living,” “protect our Valley water and farms,” and “fight for safer communities.”
Thanks to the 2020 census, California suffered a net loss of one seat in the House following the process of redistricting. Republicans will now hold 12 seats in California, up one from the current session, while Democrats will have 40 seats in the state, according to CNN. The 13th district, as it stands now, is held by Barbara Lee (D-CA). She will represent the 12th district in the next term.