ESCANABA - Dan Benishek was re-elected to another term in Congress in a very close contest, edging over challenger Gary McDowell by only 2,297 votes out of the 331,369 total ballots cast in Tuesday's general election, based on unofficial results.
Benishek will serve another two-year term in the U.S. House of Representatives. Individual vote tallies recorded 166,833 or 48 percent of votes cast for Benishek and 164,536 or 47 percent of ballots favoring McDowell.
District 1 includes the entire U.P. and a portion of downstate, roughly northeast of a line from Traverse City to Bay City.
In a news release, Benishek thanked his family, staff, volunteers, and voters for their support.
"Michigan's first district voted for jobs, the American Dream and limited government but just because the election is over does not mean our job is done. The hardest part is yet to come," he commented.
Benishek said his focus for the next two years will "remain on bringing jobs back to Northern Michigan, reigning in the spending and fighting to keep the American alive for our children and grandchildren."
McDowell praised Benishek for winning the contest.
"It was a great race. Congratulations to Dan Benishek. Hope he does well," McDowell said this morning just a few minutes after hearing the final outcome. He also thanked everyone involved in his campaign for their support.
"I'm proud of the race we ran," he added.
Congressional election results in Delta County recorded 8,969 votes for McDowell compared to 8,150 votes for Benishek.
Other candidates running for the Congressional seat were Libertarian Party candidate Emily Salvette and Green Party candidate Ellis Boal.