McAdams takes lead over Love, claims win in Utah House race

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams answers a question as he and U.S. Rep. Mia Love participate in a debate at the Gail Miller Conference Center at Salt Lake Community College on Monday, Oct. 15, 2018, in Sandy, Utah, as the two battle for Utah's 4th Congressional District. (Scott G Winterton/Deseret News, via AP, Pool)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Democrat Ben McAdams declared victory Monday night in the tight race for a U.S. House seat in Utah, but his opponent Republican Rep. Mia Love didn’t concede and The Associated Press has not called the race.

McAdams called himself the winner at a news conference at his campaign headquarters shortly after a new set of results in his home county showed he had retaken the lead by 739 votes out of a total of about 269,000 ballots that have been counted. Love had widened her lead earlier in the day with a batch of results from her stronghold county.

Utah counties are set to release their final vote counts Tuesday. State election officials will certify the results on Nov. 26.

Under Utah law, a candidate can request a recount if the margin is 0.25 percent or tighter.

As of Monday night, McAdams leads Love by 0.28 percent.

“It is time now for us to put partisanship behind us and the election behind us and come together to work to support leaders and the policies that are in the best interests of Utah,” said McAdams, surrounded by his wife and their children.

McAdams, the Salt Lake County mayor, said that county clerks have told his campaign that nearly all the votes have been counted, leaving no way for the lead to revert to Love.

Love has not conceded.

In a statement released late Monday, Love thanked voters: “I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the voters, who along with our family, have been waiting for two weeks to get election results. Thank you for your continued participation in this process.”

She didn’t elaborate on the vote count or results.

Love, the first black Republican woman in Congress, is trying to win her third term in a mostly suburban Salt Lake City district.

If McAdams wins, he will flip a district that had been in Republican hands since 2014 when Love won her first term.

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