Virginia Kruta | Associate Editor
In a race that was still considered a toss-up two weeks after the final ballots were cast, Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams has emerged the victor in Utahs 4th Congressional District.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Democrats flip U.S. House seat in Utah as Ben McAdams defeats Republican Rep. Mia Love two weeks after Election Day.
— Ken Thomas (@KThomasDC) November 21, 2018
A nail-biter to the very end, McAdams gained and lost his lead over Republican incumbent Mia Love several times before the final tally was reached on Tuesday.
BREAKING: #UT04 Rep. Mia Love (R) narrowly wins latest batch of votes from Salt Lake Co., narrowing Ben McAdams (D)s lead form 1,227 to 873. This makes her the favorite to prevail, once more Utah Co. votes are counted.
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) November 15, 2018
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) November 16, 2018
Republican incumbent Rep. Ludmya “Mia” Love has held the 4th Congressional District since 2015 — after losing a bid for the seat in 2012 — and has the distinction of being both the first black female Republican elected to Congress and the first Haitian-American to serve in Congress representing Utah.
Mia Love, the Republican candidate for the 4th congressional district, talks to the press from the party headquarters as results come in for the U.S. presidential election in Salt Lake City, Utah, November 6, 2012. REUTERS/George Frey
McAdams kept the race especially competitive in recent weeks. Several polls taken in the final weeks of the race showed McAdams with a lead ranging from 2.3 to 7 points — but the Real Clear Politics (RCP) average still classified the race as a toss-up even as the polling places were beginning to close.
Starting this 4th of July off right with a parade in Murray! Next parade stops: West Jordan and Sandy. Hope to see you there! Youll recognize me by the giant orange bus. #4thofjuly #independenceday #utpol pic.twitter.com/1t9iqYQtuJ
— Ben McAdams (@BenMcAdams) July 4, 2018
Utah was among a growing number of states reporting record numbers at the polls, showing a much higher turnout than the 2014 midterm elections by double-digit margins. (RELATED: Rep. Mia Love Sues To Hit Pause On Vote Counts: Heres Why)
UPDATE: #Utah voter turnout for #Midterms2018 now at 53.5% More than 750,000 ballots already processed. (For comparison, in the 2014 midterm Utah had 46.25% voter turnout.) Justin Lee with @ElectionsUtah says a lot of ballots are still in the mail. @KSL5TV @kslnewsradio @KSLcom pic.twitter.com/BHyNSH0A90
— Ladd Egan (@laddegan) November 6, 2018
When the final votes were counted on Tuesday, McAdams won the seat with margin of fewer than 700 votes. In spite of the fact that the election had not yet been called, McAdams has spent the last week on Capitol Hill for new member orientation — and added his name to a letter opposing Democratic California Rep. Nancy Pelosis bid for House Speaker.