Congressman Jim Matheson officially wins a seventh term

Posted at 4:37 PM, Nov 20, 2012
and last updated 2012-11-21 00:01:52-05

The General Election ballots were canvassed Tuesday. The results put Jim Matheson as the winner of Utah's fourth congressional district race, but Republicans say it's still too close to call.

Mia Love lost by less than 1,000 votes and she isn't bowing out just yet. The State Republican Party Chairman says the race won't be over until they get some answers as to why some absentee ballots weren't counted in Salt Lake County.

Only 768 votes separate Congressman Jim Matheson and Mia Love.

"I think there were a lot of factors that made it really challenging. It was a new district, 75 percent of the constituents were new to me; Mitt Romney was a very powerful force on the top of the ticket, that was a big deal. There almost it seemed unlimited amount of resources coming in against me in this race, in terms of the money and the opponent ran a good race," said Matheson after the official tally was released late Tuesday afternoon.

Love scored a victory in Juab County with 62 % of the vote. The Mayor of Saratoga Springs also won Sanpete County. The Republican swept Utah County with more than 70 percent of the vote, but then the results for Salt Lake County came in. The total tally put Congressman Matheson ahead by 768 votes.

"It's exciting that the gap was narrowed," said Thomas Wright.

However, the State's Republican Party Chair says he has some serious questions for Salt Lake County.

"While we were poll watching here, they said they didn't have time to answer the questions always or that we would have to wait after the polling was done," Wright said.

Those questions, Wright says, inc "Why were some absentee ballots rejected?"

Some of the absentee ballots in Salt Lake County were rejected, and Wright thinks a reason for that may come out on Monday.

As for Love? Our questions about whether she's conceded the race were not really clearly answered.

"You're asking someone to make a decision about incomplete data," said Wright. When Fox 13 asked if Republicans were being sore losers Wright said "Republicans aren't being sore losers. We respect the system, and the morning after the election I congratulated Congressman Jim Matheson personally on what appeared to be the victory at the time and if he ends up winning I will be the first person to congratulate him."

Thomas Wright says the Republican Party wants to be satisfied with the how the results were tabulated.