By Kyle Balluck
After 14 years in the House of Representatives, Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.) has conceded defeat in her race against Democrat Raul Ruiz.
“After 25 years of public life in the beautiful desert, it is now time for me to start a new chapter in my life. My family and I are very excited about the prospect."
Bono Mack, the widow of former congressman and entertainer Sonny Bono, was running in the redrawn 36th congressional district.
The race had shifted from leaning Republican to a toss-up thanks in part to redistricting, according to The Hill's race ratings.
She and her husband, Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.), both faced competitive races this year. Mack lost to Sen. Bill NelsonBill NelsonGOP puts shutdown squeeze play on Dems Overnight Healthcare: McConnell unveils new Zika package | Manchin defends daughter on EpiPens | Bill includes M for opioid crisis Dem to support spending bill despite no Flint aid MORE (D) in an attempt to win the Senate seat Mack’s father once occupied.
Ruiz had attacked Bono Mack for being an “absent” congresswoman, spending time with Mack in Florida or on the road for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.
Republicans had seized on Ruiz’s arrest for protesting Thanksgiving when he was a student at Harvard, and his support for the release of convicted FBI killer, Native American Leonard Peltier, as evidence that he was not fit to represent the largely retiree community.
Ruiz, now an emergency room doctor, apologized for what he considers to be youthful indiscretions.
--Molly K. Hooper contributed to this report.