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UPDATE: Rep. Mia Love issued the following statement Monday: “I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the voters, who along with our family, have been waiting for two weeks to get election results. Thank you for your continued participation in this process.” - - - - - -
SALT LAKE CITY — Democratic Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams claimed victory over Republican Rep. Mia Love Monday after new Salt Lake County results showed her trailing by 739 votes in the 4th Congressional District race.
"I'm eager to get to work," McAdams said at a hastily called news conference held at his Millcreek campaign headquarters. "We are confident there is no way Rep. Love will retake the lead."
He said he has not yet tried to contact the two-term congresswoman.
"I do want to give her the space," McAdams said, anticipating her campaign wanted time to review the numbers released early Monday evening. "I think she's entitled to that."
Love's campaign did not immediately react to McAdams' news conference.
A day before counties are set to certify results of the Nov. 6 election, Love has 134,151 votes to 134,890 for McAdams throughout the district, which includes portions of Salt Lake and Utah counties as well as Juab and Sanpete counties.
Earlier Monday, Love had gained 2,224 votes in the conservative stronghold of Utah County to 1,127 for McAdams, expanding the lead she first took over McAdams on Friday from 419 votes to 1,516 in the district.
McAdams, who spent last week in Washington, D.C., attending the orientation for new members of Congress, tweeted Monday that clerks from Salt Lake and Utah counties "are working around the clock" to get votes counted accurately.
He said in his tweet, "Whatever the outcome, thank you! However, can we change the load screen on the county clerk’s page from ‘Election Night Reporting’ to ‘Election Month Reporting?’"
Scott Hogensen, Utah County chief deputy clerk auditor, said Monday's release is the last before counties certify election results on Tuesday. He said "not much" remains to be counted other than any ballots that show up in the mail.
A final vote canvass by the state is scheduled for Nov. 26. Utah has no automatic recount law, but candidates who lose by 0.25 percent or less can request that the ballots be recounted.
Love has already challenged the vote-counting process in Salt Lake County, where the longtime county clerk, Sherrie Swensen, is a Democrat, but the lawsuit was dismissed the day after it was heard in 3rd District Court last week.
The issue raised by Love's attorneys during the hearing was how the county matched voter signatures. Voters had until 5 p.m. Monday to respond to questions raised about their signatures by the clerk's office.
Also Monday, McAdams signed a letter along with 15 Democratic House members pledging to vote against House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., becoming House speaker when Democrats take over control in January.
During the campaign, McAdams had promised he would not support the California Democrat as speaker, but Love repeatedly told voters voting for him was a vote for Pelosi.
McAdams's campaign manager, Andrew Roberts, said the letter was in keeping with his promise not to vote for Pelosi.
"From the moment Ben got into the race, he's called for bipartisanship in Washington and has been clear about the need for new leadership on both sides of the aisle," Roberts said.