After a 16-day delay while ballots were counted, a state representative Thursday conceded to the state's former state natural resources chief in the tight GOP primary for the 3rd Congressional District.

Greg Walcher (search) had 15,571 votes, or about 31.9 percent of the vote, beating Rep. Matt Smith (search), who had 15,298 votes, or 31.3 percent of the vote, according to results released Wednesday by Secretary of State Donetta Davidson. Three other candidates trailed by large margins.

Walcher will face Democratic state Rep. John Salazar, wrimary, but more than 400 provisional ballots — those cast by voters whose eligibility was in question — could not be tallied until after election day under state law. The final gap between the two was 273 votes.

County clerks had until Monday to determine whether the provisional ballots were valid and then count them, so the secretary of state could certify the results by Wednesday's deadline.

Because the margin was so narrow, Smith said he would not concede until after all the provisional ballots were counted and the results were certified.

Democrats hope to recapture the seat for the first time since 1990. The district in western Colorado became a toss-up after McInnis said last fall he would not seek a seventh term. A win for the Democrats could help boost their numbers in the House, where Republicans hold a 229-205 advantage.