WADSWORTH, Ohio - In one of the closest races of this year's general election, 16th District Congressman Jim Renacci pulled away from democrat Betty Sutton to win the newly redrawn district by a very narrow margin.
Renacci, 53, gave his victory speech with 94 percent of the precincts counted in the sprawling new 16th congressional district with a 52 percent to 48 percent lead over Sutton.
The race was one of only two in the nation that had two sitting U.S. representatives battling each other for the same seat.
The new district lines encompass most of Wayne County; as well as parts of Cuyahoga, Summit, Portage, Medina and Stark counties.
It included 50 percent of Renacci's old 16th district and only 23 percent of Sutton's old 13th district, forcing her to campaign for re-election in what many felt was a heavily republican district.
"There's no doubt that the redistricting targeted me for elimination," Sutton said late Tuesday before Renacci's speech.
"This has not served the people well in the sense that it's been very difficult for them to know who is seeking to serve them," she added.
Sutton, a three-term representative, will lose her congressional seat with Tuesday's loss to Renacci, who is still completing his first term.
The race was reportedly one of the most expensive house races in the country. Disclosure reports showed Renacci out-fundraising Sutton and outspending her as well in the district.
"I am deeply humbled by the opportunity that voters in the 16th district have given me to serve again as their voice in Washington," said Renacci in a statement, congratulating Sutton "on her service to the people of Ohio and on running a very strong campaign."
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