Clint Didier conceded defeat in the 4th District congressional race Wednesday, more than two weeks after election day.
Didier waited to concede the Nov. 4 election until almost all of the mailed ballots had been counted.
His opponent, Dan Newhouse, was declared the winner Nov. 7 by the Associated Press and traveled to Washington, D.C., for freshman orientation.
Newhouse led Wednesday with 77,503 votes, 50.8 percent, to Didier’s 75,004 votes, 49.2 percent.
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Fewer than 750 votes are estimated to be counted in the eight-county district.
Didier leads in all but Yakima and Benton counties, the two largest in the district. Newhouse is carrying Benton County by a nearly identical percentage as the overall vote, with 25,680 votes, or 50.8 percent, to Didier’s 24,857 votes, 49.2 percent. An estimated 475 votes remain to be counted there.
In Franklin County, Didier leads with 7,869 votes, 54.8 percent, to Newhouse’s 6,500 votes, 45.2 percent. Only 88 votes are estimated to be counted there.
The results are not official until they are certified next week.
“For two weeks, the race in Washington State's 4th Congressional District between two Republicans, myself and Mr. Newhouse, has been too close to call,” Didier said in a press release. “However, with just a handful of votes left to count, I concede my opponent is the person who will represent you when the 114th Congress convenes in January.”
Didier is launching the WA Patriots political action committee to help future conservative candidates who will uphold beliefs of right-to-life, individual liberty, private property rights and limited government, he said.
“I want you to know this hard-fought campaign has not been in vain,” he said. “Because it is crucial to continue the work supporting the principles contained in the Republican Platform.”
Newhouse is no longer focused on the election, spokesman Jim Keough said.
“Dan has moved forward from the election and spent the last week in D.C. working on committee assignments and preparing to represent central Washington in Congress,” he said.
Newhouse will take office Jan. 3, the first day of the 114th Congress. He and Didier were the top two of 12 finishers in the August primary to replace Rep. Doc Hastings, who is retiring after 20 years in office.
Newhouse learned the location of his D.C. office Wednesday during the House lottery — 1641 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515. Hastings’ office is located in Longworth and Speaker John Boehner is also based there.
Committee assignments are expected to be announced the first week of December, Keough said.