SACRAMENTO (CBS13/AP) — Republican Rep. Dan Lungren has lost his re-election bid to Democratic challenger Ami Bera in one of California’s most hotly contested congressional contests.

Voters from the Sacramento suburbs ousted the veteran lawmaker in the race for the state’s newly redrawn 7th Congressional District. This was the second attempt for Bera, a 45-year-old physician who failed to unseat Lungren two years ago.

The Associated Press called the race for Bera on Thursday. He was leading Lungren 51.1 percent to 48.9 percent and increased his vote lead to several thousand after being only separated by a few hundred on Election Day more than two weeks.

Lungren officially conceded on Friday, sending out a thank email to supporters and wishing Bera well in the House, where Lungren has served for 18 years. He was also the state attorney general for two terms.

“I am satisfied that enough votes have been counted to determine that I will not be representing the citizens of the 7th Congressional District during the 113th Congress,” Lungren said in his email. “It was a tough campaign and I accept the outcome. I congratulate Dr. Bera in his victory and I wish him well as he accepts this new challenge.”

Bera’s win adds to Democratic gains in California’s congressional races. The state’s majority party benefited from an independent redistricting process that was in full effect for the first time this year.

Before the Nov. 6 election, California’s congressional delegation had 33 Democrats, 19 Republicans and one vacancy in a Democratic district.

Lungren noted achievements with the Folsom Dam, levees, U.S. port security, chemical facility security, cyber security, criminal justice reform, immigration reform, national security, human trafficking and reining in government spending during his tenure in the House.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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