Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) has conceded the Republican nomination for Florida's 3th district to local veterinarian Ted Yoho, he said in a statement on Wednesday.
Yoho looked poised for an insurgent win in the surprise of Tuesday night's primaries, but Stearns refused to concede the race, as initial vote tallies put him just over 1 percentage point behind Yoho.
That changed Wednesday, however.
"Based upon the results from last night, it would appear that there are not enough provisional ballots to make up the difference for me to win this primary election. Therefore, I am conceding the election to Ted Yoho," Stearns, a 12-term lawmaker, said in a statement.
Speaking on Tuesday night, under the assumption that he had won the nomination, Yoho attributed his win to distaste for the Washington establishment and his support from local Tea Party groups, and likened it to "winning the Homecoming game."
"The people realize that the career politicians either created this mess, or they failed to prevent it," he said.
Yoho will run against Democratic candidate J. R. Gaillot, also a political newcomer, in the newly drawn 3rd district.
Stearns is chairman of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee that probed Solyndra, the solar panel company that went bankrupt in 2011 after receiving a $535 million Energy Department loan guarantee in 2009.
“I am disappointed that I won’t be able to continue my investigations of the Obama administration such as the risky loan guarantee to Solyndra and holding Planned Parenthood accountable to the taxpayers,” Stearns said in conceding to Yoho.
— This story was updated at 1:35 p.m. and 2:31 p.m.