With a phone call that marked the ending of a 28-year political career, U.S. Rep. John Spratt conceded Wednesday afternoon to Republican challenger Mick Mulvaney after overnight vote totals confirmed the outcome in the 5th Congressional District.
Spratt talked to Mulvaney's staff shortly after 12:30 p.m. today, officially ending his bid for reelection.
Mulvaney had about 55 percent of the vote to Spratt's 45 percent.
Even as Mulvaney claimed victory, Spratt did not concede Tuesday night, though he did speak in the past tense: "I told you 28 years ago, the one thing I would commit to is to do my dead-level best, and by golly, I've done it."
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Speaking to a somber crowd of supporters, Spratt cited problems with voting machines and said he would wait for "a definitive demonstration that the numbers are not in our favor."
The decision to wait until Wednedsay to concede came after a brief meeting with chief of staff Dawn O’Connell, communications director Nu Wexler, former district director Robert Hopkins and several family members.
Wexler said Spratt did not want to concede until all votes had been counted.
Spratt is not finished with his duties on Capitol Hill. He sits on a bipartisan panel appointed by President Barack Obama that will make sweeping recommendations next month on reducing the national debt.
Mulvaney takes office Jan. 3, 2011.