Some results are still trickling in, but Democrat Syed Taj conceded the race for Michigan's 11th Congressional District to Republican Kerry Bentivolio Wednesday morning.
"It goes without saying that I am disappointed in last night's results. However, I am not disappointed in the campaign that we have ran in the 11th. We faced a tough map and in spite of this disadvantage worked our district hard and left nothing on the table," Taj said in a statement.
Bentivolio spoke to a group of supporters just before midnight Tuesday at his election party at the Sheraton in Novi, thanking them for their support.
"We're going to go to Washington, and we're going to represent the 11th District like it's never been represented before," he said.
As of Wednesday morning, Bentivolio had the lead with 166,226 votes to Taj's 146,128 votes with 100 percent of Oakland County and 88 percent of Wayne County precincts reporting the unofficial results.
Bentivolio greeted supporters with hugs and handshakes when he entered the banquet hall Tuesday night. He also lifted up his grandchildren into his arms.
"This is the reason I did this -- for our grandchildren," he said.
Taj also had an election night party in Novi at the Baronette Renaissance Hotel. In his statement issued Wednesday morning, Taj thanked his supporters and said he will remain an active member of the community.
"We started this effort a year ago with a mind towards giving the voters of the 11th a real choice," he said. "I am satisfied that we accomplished this goal and unfortunately the voters choose differently than we had hoped and worked towards. I will remain a tireless advocate for job growth, health care access and affordability, Social Security and Medicare, and college affordability."
Michigan was re-districted this year, so now the 11th District serves Novi, Northville, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Clawson, Farmington, Rochester Hills, Troy, White Lake, Plymouth, Canton, Livonia, Wixom, Milford, Commerce, Waterford, Auburn Hills and more.
Bentivolio also was on the ballot to serve a partial term for the former 11th District, finishing out Thaddeus McCotter's term until the end of the year. McCotter resigned in July after his campaign failed to turn in the requisite 1,000 petitions needed to get on the GOP primary ballot in August.
The former 11th District serves Novi, Northville, Plymouth, Canton, White Lake, Livonia, Garden City, Westland, Wayne, Belleville, Milford, Highland, Commerce and more.
Preliminary results as of Wednesday morning show Democratic opponent David Curson leading the race to fill the partial term. Curson has 140,402 votes to Bentivolio's 131,959 with 100 percent of Oakland County precincts reporting and 91 percent of Wayne County precincts reporting.
Bentivolio said his most important message of the night was this:
"It's a congressman's job to protect your rights, not take them away," he said.
Bentivolio also thanked everyone for their prayers and said he hopes to continue to be blessed in Washington.
"We're going to do the right thing, we're going to set the right example, because we're Michigan tough," he said.