Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.) today conceded her race to Democrat Raul Ruiz, who joins a large freshman contingent in the state's Congressional delegation.
Ruiz was leading Bono Mack by 4,679 votes as of Thursday evening, with thousands of absentee and provisional ballots still to count.
"Dr. Ruiz will do a fine job if he is guided as well by the people of the Congressional district as I was. Please give him the opportunity to succeed," Bono Mack said in a statement.
Ruiz, a physician, was a top recruit of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which launched a media campaign against Bono Mack in mid-September. That set off a spending war among outside groups from both sides, as the district moved squarely onto the competitive playing field.
Bono Mack represented the Palm Springs-based district in the House for seven full terms. She entered Congress in 1998 through a special election to replace her late husband, Sonny Bono. In 2008, she married Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.), who lost his bid for Senate on Tuesday.
"After 25 years of public life in the beautiful desert, it is now time for me to start a new chapter in my life," Bono Mack said in her statement.
Bono Mack is the 23rd House incumbent to lose in the general election. California Reps. Brian Bilbray (R) and Dan Lungren (R) remain in races that are outstanding, along with a few more in other states.