Democratic candidate Gary McDowell conceded a narrow defeat Friday night in Michigan's 1st Congressional district, ending speculation a recount could be possible.
McDowell called incumbent Congressman Dan Benishek, R-Crystal Falls, to congratulate him on his victory, which stands unofficially at less than a percentage point between both candidates. The race was a rematch for the candidates, who also faced off in 2010 when Benishek won by 11 percent.
The Democrat and former three-term state representative had held off conceding the race because he believed the race was "too close to call" until canvassers had totalled all the votes in the large district.
"I am proud of the campaign we ran to fight for good-paying jobs, protect Medicare and defend our Great Lakes," McDowell said in a statement. "I called Congressman Benishek tonight to congratulate him on his successful campaign and wish him luck in his next term in Congress."
Volunteers for the McDowell for Congress campaign plan to continue to monitor the vote canvassing in the district that covers the entire Upper Peninsula and about a third of the Norther Lower Peninsula. Counties have until Nov. 20 to verify their elections, before sending them forward for the state to certify.
There was speculation earlier in the week that a recount could be a possibility, but the McDowell campaign staff said Friday night it anticipates the final total — 166,902 to 164,574 for Benishek — to hold steady during the verification process.
McDowell, who is expected to return to his home in Rudyard to be with his family this weekend, thanked voters in Northern Michigan and his supporters for "taking part in this critical election."
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