Democrat Conor Lamb claimed victory Wednesday in the special congressional race in Pennsylvania before election officials declared a winner.
Mr. Lamb signaled he was confident that the 579-vote edge he held was a big enough buffer to hold off Republican Rick Saccone with outstanding absentee ballots still to be counted.
“It took a little bit longer than we thought, but we did it,” Mr. Lamb told his supporters at his election night party.
The claim came hours after polls closed and not long after Mr. Saccone told his supporters that he planned to keep on fighting.
Mr. Lamb, though, pushed forward, saying his campaign showed the strength of discussing issues important to voters, the power of labor unions and the importance of finding common ground.
“Our job in Congress is to attack the problems, not each other,” he said.
The 33-year-old former Marine and federal prosecutor said he is proud to be a Democrat from western Pennsylvania.
“I will work on the problems our people face, secure their jobs and pensions, protect their family, and I will work with anyone to do that,” he said.