Democratic U.S. Rep. Ben McAdams of Utah narrowly lost his re-election bid against former NFL player Burgess Owens, allowing Republicans to regain control of all four congressional seats in the state.
McAdams conceded in an online news conference on Monday afternoon shortly before The Associated Press determined Owens had won the closely watched race in the suburban Salt Lake City congressional district.
Owens won by less than 1 percent of the votes in a district that has seen razor-thin margins over the last decade.
McAdams, who was elected in 2018, said he will continue to work through the end of his term to ensure a smooth transition.
“My campaign was centered around a rejection of extremism and the need for leaders who will put the needs of the people they represent before any political party,” McAdams said.
“I am deeply humbled by the support I received from so many Utahns who share that vision and want them to know that while we did not prevail, I remain committed to that ideal.”
Owens is a Republican who has been a vocal supporter of President Donald Trump and a frequent Fox News guest.
The former NFL player helped the Oakland Raiders win the 1980 Super Bowl and later converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, widely known as the Mormon church.
Trump congratulated Owens over the weekend, writing in a tweet: “Great going Burgess, you continue to be a STAR! ”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 14, 2020
Owens took to Twitter on Monday afternoon to thank McAdams and the people of Utah for the opportunity to serve.
“I promise to be an open ear for all Utahns and to serve with all I have,” Owens wrote. “Now, it’s time to get to work.”
During the Republican primary, Owens handily won a crowded field by running to the right of his opponents.
He has criticized athletes for kneeling during the national anthem.
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