Rep. Solomon Ortiz (D-TX) conceded his contest late Monday to Rep.-elect Blake Farenthold (R), after a recount could not overturn a nearly 800-vote lead for the Republican.
Five of the six counties in the district finished recounting their ballots late last week, and each reported nominal or no changes to its previous tally. Because of that, all eyes were on Cameron Co., which finished Monday. Ortiz spokesperson Jose Borjon told the Corpus Christi Daily Caller that Ortiz picked up a substantial number of votes there -- about 146 -- but it was not enough to overturn the result.
In the end, Farenthold won by 648 votes.
The Republican is one of this cycle's most unlikely winners. Even he didn't fully expect to win, despite late polling from his campaign that showed him leading the South Texas incumbent. "Early on in the race, I had a nightmare that I won," Farenthold told a local TV outlet on Election Night. "And now it's like, 'Now what do I do?'"
Democrats believed they had stemmed his momentum late in the race when they released photos of him in pajamas standing next to a scantily clad young woman. That photo has become part of this cycle's campaign lure, but it did not stop the Republican from winning this heavily Hispanic district.
With this race in the books, Republicans have now pushed their net House gains to 62 seats this cycle. In addition, there are four remaining House contests that are still in doubt. Republicans lead in one (NY 25), while Democrats lead in CA 11, CA 20 and NY 01.