OAKLAND, Calif. — Rep. David Valadao (R-Calif.) conceded to Democrat TJ Cox on Thursday, cementing a 7-seat gain in California for Democrats on their path to the House majority next year.
Valadao’s defeat marked a reversal of early results that led numerous news organizations, including The Associated Press, to declare the Republican incumbent the victor soon after polls closed — a conclusion that proved premature as late-counted ballots broke decisively in Cox’s favor. Valadao ultimately conceded a month to the day after having proclaimed himself the winner.
“Representing the Central Valley in Congress has been the honor of a liftime,” Valadao said in a statement, adding, “There is no doubt we are disappointed in the results, but we can take pride in knowing we brought about real, tangible change.”
Cox and liberal allies hadn’t waited for Valadao’s concession. The Democrat joined six other incoming new California members in writing the Trump administration last week to request augmented federal wildfire assistance.
As of Thursday, Democrats have now gained a net of 40 House seats in last month’s midterm elections, with just one seat outstanding: the disputed North Carolina district where allegations of fraud have clouded Republican Mark Harris’ apparent, narrow victory.