Rep. Dan Maffei formally conceded on Tuesday to Republican Ann Marie Buerkle, who won the race in New York’s 25district by less than 600 votes.
The Democrat’s concession brings the net GOP gains in the House to 63 seats, with three races still outstanding.
Maffei’s decision comes after three weeks of ballot inspections, but before a local judge ruled on a request for a full hand recount. That process likely would have delayed the contest’s outcome for several more weeks.
“I make no apologies, except to my friends, supporters, and staff for the fact the final outcome was not what we wanted,” Maffei said in a statement issued just before 3 p.m. “I congratulate Congresswoman-elect Buerkle and her supporters and family. I wish her luck in the new Republican majority.”
Maffei becomes the fifth House Democrat to lose in the Empire State this cycle, and his loss comes in a central New York district carried by President Barack Obama in 2008 and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) in 2004. Republicans have picked up six seats total in New York so far, with the outcome of one race still too close to call.
“The electorate may have changed tremendously from 2008 to 2010 in terms of who turned out to vote but I kept my pledges to the people who elected me and I will forever be proud of that,” Maffei said, adding that he does not apologize for his votes in favor of controversial legislation like the stimulus, health care and financial reform.
The Buerkle campaign is set to hold a news conference later Tuesday afternoon.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., carries a musket on stage as he speaks during the American Conservative Union's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Md., on Thursday March 6, 2014.