For shunning President Donald Trump, incumbent Republican Utah Rep. Mia Love, has been narrowly defeated by Democrat Ben McAdams in a race that took two weeks to settle.
Final results posted Tuesday showed McAdams defeated the two-term Love by fewer than 700 votes in the deep-red state — barely more than the tally that would have triggered a recount.
McAdams’ victory adds to Democrats’ majority in a year when they’ve flipped more than three dozen Republican-held seats across the country to win control of the House of Representatives.
A day after the Nov. 6 midterm elections, when it appeared Love was headed for a loss, Trump said that she had asked him for help over an American hostage’s release from Venezuala, but in return “Mia Love gave me no love.”
Trump added dryly, “Too bad, Mia.”
He suggested that Love would have prevailed if she had embraced him politically, instead of highlighting the times she’s stood up to him, like when Trump used an expletive to describe her parents’ home country of Haiti.
She tried to separate herself from Trump on trade and immigration and shunned him on the campaign trail.
The president added that he wasn’t sure whether or not to feel happy or sad over Love’s apparent defeat at the time, but insisted that he “feels just fine about it.”
Trump also singled out defeated Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock and New Jersey businessman Bob Hugin for not embracing his message of “low taxes, low regulations, low crimes, strong borders and great judges.”
However, as votes continued to stream in after the president’s remarks, Love took a slim lead, and it appeared briefly that she would ultimately prevail.
McAdams declared victory Monday night after a release of ballots gave him a margin his campaign believed was insurmountable. State election officials will certify the final results next Monday.
“This race was about connecting with Utah,” he said. “This race was about who was best positioned to serve Utah and working to not get it caught up in a national, partisan election.”