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Howe concedes 6th District race to Esquivel

Lynn Howe, a Democrat who challenged Republican Rep. Sal Esquivel with a pointed campaign, conceded the race Wednesday afternoon, after Esquivel held his lead as more votes were counted.

In updated returns on Wednesday, Esquivel had 12,174 votes to Howe's 9,296, giving him 56.5 percent of the vote to her 43.2 percent. The percentage mirrored that shown in the early returns.

Howe's campaign sent out a mailer that incorrectly claimed Esquivel supported a sales tax on food and produced other ads that accurately noted Esquivel had failed to pay $13,000 in back taxes on a Medford investment property. After the election, though, she prefered to focus on her vigorous door-to-door campaign.

"You meet so many people and see the needs and resources," she said. "The campaign is life-changing."

Howe said she will take some time to let the election results sink in, then look for other ways to serve the community. She also ran against Esquivel in 2008, but said Wednesday that it was too early to decide whether she would make another run for office.

Esquivel, who claimed the lead from the very first returns Tuesday night, said the attacks against him and his record helped mobilize his supporters. A strong turnout of Republicans across the nation also helped him and demonstrated that people support the party's efforts to support business, attract jobs and limit government spending, he said on election night.