(CNN) - Democratic Rep. Bob Etheridge has conceded to Republican Renee Ellmers in the race for the 2nd District seat of North Carolina after a recount of ballots showed Ellmers ahead.
Etheridge, a six-term Congressman, released a statement announcing his decision:
"Now, the election recount has concluded, and the numbers confirm that despite the incredible support we had – and neither candidate getting to 50% – in the end we came up just a little too short. The combination of the national tide that swept the country, massive amounts of secret corporate cash funding a campaign of distortions, and dirty politics by Washington, DC partisan operatives was just too much to overcome," Etheridge said in the statement, with a swipe at the tone of a campaign season where mud slinging was paramount.
"But what's done is done," Etheridge said. "I congratulate Mrs. Ellmers and wish her well as she prepares to serve the people of North Carolina's Second District."
Ellmers responded to the Etheridge's decision to concede.
"After receiving a gracious call from Congressman Etheridge, the election is over and rather than debating our problems we begin work on how to solve them and as I begin my part in that work I want to wish Congressman Etheridge and his family the best," Ellmers said in a statement.
"This election Americans voted to change Washington. And I have been elected to play a role in bringing that change to Congress. I will do all that I can to meet that challenge. I ask for your prayers and I ask you to join me in praying for Congressman Etheridge and his family during this transition. Thank you."
In July, Etheridge apologized after a video was posted online which showed him getting into a physical confrontation with two young men who eventually identified themselves as students and asked the congressman whether he "fully supports the Obama agenda."
In the video, which was posted on the website of Andrew Breitbart – a conservative commentator and online news aggregator – the students faces are obscured and they never fully identify themselves or their affiliation.