Saturday, November 17, 2012
After more than a week of counting votes, the AP has called the Congressional District 2 race: Ron Barber is the winner:
Democrat Ron Barber has won a full term representing Arizona's 2nd Congressional District, squeaking out a win over Republican Martha McSally and giving Democrats a sweep of the state's three competitive races for U.S. House seats.
Voters decisively picked Barber to fill out the remainder of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords term in a special election in June, but last week's election was for a full term and was so tight it took until Saturday before a winner was clear. Barber and McSally each held leads since election night, with a difference of only a few dozen votes at times, before Barber steadily began pulling ahead.
By late Friday, Barber had a 1,402-vote margin with more than 285,000 votes cast in the race. Only about 15,000 provisional ballots remain to be counted in Pima County, although not all are in the 2nd District. An Associated Press analysis determined Barber's lead could not be overcome.
"I'm really proud and honored that I've been given another opportunity to serve," Barber told the AP on Saturday. "I never expected to be in Congress. When I won the special election I was thrilled about that and now I have two years to get some work done, and I really understand what the issues are nationally and locally and I'm going to be working hard on those."
Barber said McSally called and congratulated him at midmorning, and conceded the race.
McSally has a press conference at 2 p.m. this afternoon. Stay tuned for details.
Our coverage of the vote count here.