A California congressional district currently represented by a Democrat is sending a Republican to Congress.
Republican John Duarte has been named the official 13th Congressional District winner over Democrat Adam Gray, according to the Associated Press.
The district is currently represented by Democrat Barbara Lee, but its boundaries were shifted in redistricting. Lee was elected in the 12th District.
Gray conceded the Central Valley contest on Friday.
“After weeks of incredibly hard work by our election workers, the result has become clear,” Gray said in a statement, according to the Epoch Times. “While I had hoped for a different outcome, I accept the results and have called to congratulate my opponent, John Duarte.”
“This was one of the closest races in the country,” Gray said, according to the AP. “More than 130,000 ballots were cast, and the outcome will be decided by just a few hundred votes.”
The website Ballotpedia said that 593 votes separated the two candidates.
As noted by AP, Democrats enjoy a 14-percentage point edge over Republicans in voter enrollment in the district.
Duarte’s statement focused on working in partnership with Democrats to get results.
“I promised our Valley families that I would be their bipartisan champion in Washington, D.C. by fighting for food on our tables, gas in our tanks, and water on our farms. That is exactly what I am going to go there to do,” he said.
With Duarte’s win now official, Republicans will have 221 seats in the 435-member House. Democrats will have 213 seats. One Colorado contest is still in the recount process.
Duarte, a businessman and farmer who grows grapes, pistachios and almonds, had won the nonpartisan June primary in the district.
“You deserve to thrive, not just survive. Out-of-touch career politicians have put the needs of big corporations and special interests before us. They have driven prices sky high with reckless spending,” Duarte said on his campaign website.
Family-owned businesses are the lifeblood of our Valley. For too long, they’ve been left behind. I look forward to fighting for them and for you as your next Congressman. #SendAFarmerToCongress pic.twitter.com/3H09xO6EP4
— John Duarte (@Duarte4Congress) October 22, 2022
“Working Valley families are being forced to choose between food on the table and gas in the tank. As your Congressman I’ll do the right thing – I’ll vote to suspend the gas tax and cut fuel and food prices,” he said.
Duarte had also criticized California’s tax environment.
“We have the highest taxes in the country. They keep putting the socialist burden on well-to-do retirees [and] business owners,” he told Fox News, adding that he blames California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s financially burdensome policies for causing a record number of families and companies to leave the state.
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