The Latest: Handel concedes long-red House seat

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ATLANTA (AP) - The Latest on Georgia's pending congressional races (all times local):

9:05 a.m.

Republican U.S. Rep. Karen Handel has conceded to her Democratic rival in a hard-fought Congressional race in Georgia.

Handel says in a statement Thursday morning that after reviewing all of the election data, it's clear she "came up a bit short" in Tuesday's vote.

Handel congratulated Democrat Lucy McBath, offering "good thoughts and much prayer for the journey that lies ahead for her."

McBath, who is African-American, became a gun control activist after her son was killed in a shooting. She declared victory Wednesday.

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6:20 a.m.

One Republican holds the congressional seat of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. The other is a four-term GOP congressman accustomed to winning by wide margins.

Now Reps. Karen Handel and Rob Woodall of Georgia are both at risk of losing re-election in suburban Atlanta districts long considered safe for Republicans.

Handel's Democratic challenger, Lucy McBath, declared victory in their contest Wednesday. But unofficial returns showed the vote margins separating the incumbent Republicans and their rivals hovering near the 1 percent threshold that could trigger a recount.

The Associated Press has not declared a winner in either race. Absentee ballots were still being counted Wednesday and provisional ballots remained untallied across the state. The Georgia secretary of state's office said it would certify the official vote within the next week.

The contests will determine if Democrats add to their majority after winning control of the U.S. House in the Tuesday midterm elections.

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