After 14 years in the House of Representatives, Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.) has conceded defeat in her race against Democrat Raul Ruiz.
“Today, I called Dr. Ruiz and congratulated him on his impressive victory. Dr. Ruiz will do a fine job if he is guided as well by the people of the congressional district as I was. Please give him the opportunity to succeed,” she said in a statement on her Facebook page.
“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 NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonNASA adviser quits after request to change name of James Webb telescope denied NASA won't rename James Webb Space Telescope despite controversy FAA unveils new system to reduce planes' times on taxiway 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.