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House of Representatives

Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson declares victory over Mia Love in Utah House race

  • Mathson.jpg

    Nov. 6, 2012: Utah congressional incumbent Jim Matheson makes remarks during the democrat's election night watch party. (AP)

  • mia_love_reuters.jpg

    File: 2012: Utah GOP House candidate Mia Love the Republican National Convention, in Tampa, Fla. (REUTERS)

Longtime Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson narrowly defeated Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love to retain his House seat in Utah's fourth district.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Matheson led Love 108,075 votes to 105,257 votes in the newly-created district as of late Tuesday, which includes parts of Utah County and Salt Lake County. 

Love, who would have been the first African-American Republican in the House of Representatives had she won, conceded the race to Matheson late Tuesday. 

“Congratulations to Jim on a hard fought victory,” Love said in a statement. “It was a close race, but ultimately the voters of Utah have spoken."

Love had gained momentum after scoring a coveted speaking slot at the Republican National Convention, and garnering endorsements and fundraising help from Ann Romney, GOP Arizona Sen. John McCain and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

It proved not to be enough to unseat Matheson, who is Utah's only Democratic representative in the House and has served for six terms.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.