Democrats picked up two more House seats on Wednesday as Republican Reps. Jeff Denham of California and Tom MacArthur of New Jersey acknowledged they’d been defeated.
The two Democratic victories give Democrats a total of 32 net pickups in the House, bringing the current balance of power come January in Washington to 227 Democrats and 200 Republicans. Eight House races remain undecided.
Denham, who represented the 10th District in the state’s Central Valley, said in a statement he’d met in person with Democratic challenger Josh Harder.
“It has been an absolute honor to serve our community and represent the Central Valley in Congress over the past eight years. The enormity of the responsibility was never lost on me,” he said in the statement. “My wife Sonia and I look forward to starting the next chapter of our life.”
California’s 10th District was one of several House races in which, as of Wednesday morning, CNN had not yet projected a winner — including five in California. In three of the remaining four, the Democratic candidates have inched ahead, while the party is closing the gap in one more — the 39th District, where Republican Young Kim faces Democrat Gil Cisneros. Those races could pad a new Democratic majority in the House.
Denham was among the Republicans who pushed an ultimately failed “discharge petition” to force a House vote on legislation that would have protected Dreamers.
Harder had already declared victory on Tuesday, thanking Denham for his service in the Air Force and pledging to “be a member of Congress for this entire district regardless of political party, regardless of who you voted for.”
MacArthur conceded Wednesday evening, saying he’d called Democratic challenger Andy Kim to congratulate him on winning New Jersey’s 3rd District race.
“Enough provisional ballots have been counted to make the outcome clear. My staff and I will work with him to ensure a smooth transition in every way,” MacArthur said in a statement.
It was the fourth Democratic pick-up in New Jersey. Kim, a National Security Council staffer in former President Barack Obama’s administration, on the campaign trail highlighted MacArthur’s role in drafting an amendment that helped the House GOP pass legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act.