When seven-term Republican Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack conceded to her Democratic challenger Raul Ruiz on Friday, she left two other members of California’s GOP House delegation still trailing in tight, unsettled races.
As of Saturday, six of seven unresolved House races remain too close to call. In the seventh, two Louisiana Republicans will face off in a December 8 runoff for the 3rd District seat after none of the five candidates got the required 50%. Democrats hold narrow leads in all six of the too-close-to-call races. Should all win, they will have picked up a net gain of eight seats in the House after losing the majority in the chamber and suffering the largest loss of seats since 1948 in the 2010 midterm elections.
Going into Tuesday’s elections, Republicans held a 242-193 majority in the House. Mack took over her seat after her husband Rep. Sonny Bono was killed in a skiing accident in 1998. In a heartfelt statement conceding defeat on Friday night, she congratulated her opponent, an emergency room physician, and thanked her family.
“Today, I called Dr. Ruiz and congratulated him on his impressive victory,” Mack said. “Dr. Ruiz will do a fine job if he is guided as well by the people of the congressional district as I was. Please give him the opportunity to succeed. “It was almost 15 years ago that Sonny died and I became a congresswoman,” she continued. “Honestly, nobody worked harder or gave more since then than my two amazing children. They, along with my stepson Chaz, my grandson Sonny and my beloved husband Connie have been so supportive of me this week. I simply couldn’t ask for more.”
Mack lost by 4% of the vote or more than 7,200 ballots out of the almost 200,000 cast in the race for 36th District. The loss marks the first in her 14-year congressional career. Her husband, former Rep. Connie Mack IV, also lost this week in his bid for U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson’s seat in Florida.
Mack, who has faced redistricting twice before, once again saw her district’s lines redrawn ahead of the 2012 election by a bipartisan commission in California based on 2010 census data.