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GOP’s Bongino concedes Md. U.S. House race

HAGERSTOWN — Republican Dan Bongino conceded to Democratic U.S. Rep. John Delaney in the close race for Maryland’s 6th Congressional District Friday after an absentee ballot count put victory beyond the reach of the former Secret Service agent.

“After a hard-fought race, it is now time to move on and allow the citizens of Maryland to be heard,” Bongino said in a written statement.

The Associated Press declared Delaney the winner Thursday night after four of the district’s five counties completed their first round of absentee ballot counts. With those numbers added to Tuesday’s election-day results, Delaney led Bongino by 2,269 votes out of more than 184,000 cast in Allegany, Frederick, Garrett and Montgomery counties. Washington County planned to announce results of its absentee ballot canvass later Friday.

Delaney won by just over 1 percentage point, a closer margin than he and most observers had expected. Delaney said he felt good about surviving the crescendo of support for Republican candidates that helped Larry Hogan win the governor’s race and put the GOP in control of the U.S. Senate.

“We thought it would be a single-digit race, certainly all of our polling indicated that, but as the environment got worse, we slid down with it,” Delaney said Wednesday night.

In a statement Thursday, he praised Bongino for his vigorous and civil campaign.

“He has dedicated much of his life to serving his country and in our many times running into one another on the campaign trail, he was always a complete gentleman ready with a warm handshake,” Delaney said.

Delaney, a former financier from Montgomery County, also defeated Green Party candidate George Gluck.

Delaney campaigned as a bipartisan moderate, citing his Partnership to Build America bill to rebuild America’s roads and bridges. Bongino offered a conservative agenda that included school choice vouchers and opposition to the 2010 federal health care law. He promised to never vote to raise taxes.