U.S. Representative Ron Barber, an Arizona Democrat and former aide to Gabrielle Giffords, has officially lost his re-election bid to the Republican challenger in November’s congressional elections, a judge certified on Wednesday.
A superior court judge declared Martha McSally, a retired Air Force colonel and a pioneer of women’s combat aviation in the 1990s, the winner after a state-mandated recount showed she won by 167 votes in the Nov. 4 election.
“There’s no getting around that this was an incredibly close and hard-fought race. After what’s been a long campaign season, it’s time to come together and heal our community,” McSally said in a statement.
This was the last seat still being contested following the mid-term elections and gives the Republicans a 247-188 majority in the next House of Representatives.
Barber, who has served in Congress since a 2012 special election to replace Giffords, congratulated McSally in a statement and thanked his constituents.