The closest race of the 2014 midterm election cycle has finally been decided, with Republican Martha McSally defeating Rep. Ron Barber (D-Ariz.) after a protracted recount. In a statement, McSally thanked Barber for his service and said she’d seek his input on issues going forward. “There’s no getting around that this was an incredibly close and hard-fought race,” she said. “After what’s been a long campaign season, it’s time to come together and heal our community. That’s why my focus will be on what unites us, not what divides us, such as providing better economic opportunity for our families and ensuring our country and community are kept safe.” The victory for McSally, a former combat pilot in the U.S. Air Force, cements a dominant cycle for Republicans in which they picked up 13 seats in the House and gained a 247 to 188 advantage over Democrats. It’s their largest majority in the House since World War II. “Martha McSally has broken barriers her entire life, and I know she will continue to fight for the issues she is passionate about in Washington. From growing jobs to securing our border, Martha will be an effective and common-sense representative for Southern Arizona,” National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden (Ore.) said in a statement.
Barber trailed McSally by only 161 votes after Election Day out of more than 220,000 votes cast in the fight to represent Arizona’s 2nd District. The narrow margin triggered an automatic recount, which found McSally ending with a 167-vote advantage.
The Barber campaign launched a handful of legal challenges ahead of the recount in an effort to include more than 130 provisional ballots it believed were legally cast but erroneously disqualified. The Board of Supervisors in Pima and Cochise counties ruled against allowing more time to consider the provisional ballots, and the Barber campaign also lost a challenge it filed in federal district court.
Barber conceded the race to McSally and will not launch any further challenges to the recount in court. However, he said he was proud of his efforts to include the provisional ballots his team believes were wrongly excluded.
Full Article: Republican wins Arizona House recount | TheHill.