Six weeks after voters went to the polls, Republicans grabbed one final victory in a race for Congress, as elections officials in Arizona declared GOP candidate Martha McSally a narrow winner, giving Republicans their largest majority in the U.S. House since the 1928 elections.
“There’s no getting around that this was an incredibly close and hard-fought race,” said McSally, after being declared the winner by just 167 votes out of over 219,000 cast in Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District.
McSally’s win over Rep. Ron Barber (D-AZ) will give Republicans a net gain of 13 seats, giving the GOP 247 seats in the 114th Congress – the most since they won 270 seats in 1928.
“Today I congratulated Martha McSally on her victory, and wished her well in serving Southern Arizonans,” Barber said in a statement posted on Facebook.
Barber, who was once a Congressional staffer, was elected in 2012 to replace ex-Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) after Giffords was wounded in a mass shooting in Tucson, Arizona.
During the wait for a mandatory recount, McSally had gone about the business of getting ready to take office for the 114th Congress – she seems certain to be someone who GOP leaders put the spotlight on next year.
McSally, who served as a fighter pilot in the Air Force, will serve on both the Armed Services Committee and the Homeland Security Committee.
The 114th Congress will convene on January 6, 2015.