Rep. Rick Berg conceded to Heidi Heitkamp Wednesday afternoon in the race for North Dakota's U.S. Senate seat.
Valley News Live was the only television station to carry the announcement live early this afternoon as Berg threw in the towel in his very close U.S. Senate race.
Berg, who was trying to make the jump from the U.S. House to Senate, indicated early this morning that he wanted to wait for a canvassing board on Friday to finalize the outcome, but that changed as more numbers came in.
Heidi Heitkamp wound up with just under 3,000 votes more than Berg, 160,752 to 157,758.
Today, after examining all possibilities, Berg put an end to further thoughts that the race might still be in question.
As Tuesday night faded into early Wednesday morning, Rick Berg didn't have much to say to Valley News Live and other news outlets and left Fargo's Holiday Inn after a brief statement from his campaign. By early Wednesday afternoon, however, Berg was back at the Holiday Inn where he emotionally bowed out during a monthly luncheon meeting of the Fargo-Area United Republican Committee of Cass County.
"I just truly, truly want to thank you for everything you've done," Berg said before a room full of supporters. "It's been an interesting experience, and it's something I wouldn't trade for anything."
Despite the close outcome and the continuing canvassing, Berg expressed his belief in the system and says he's convinced that there won't be enough irregularities to change the outcome.
Instead, he has asked his supporters to move on. "I want to encourage everyone here to be supportive of those elected leaders," Berg said, "when they wrestle with these tough decisions."
Berg thanked Heitkamp for her "passion" in the campaign.