Democratic Rep. David Trone secured Western Maryland’s Congressional seat Friday, edging out Republican state Del. Neil Parrott in a hotly-contested race that denied the GOP an opportunity to flip the seat with a redrawn state political map.

Aided by mail-in ballots from deep blue Montgomery and purple Frederick counties, Trone — the incumbent and owner of a liquor store empire — squeaked past Parrott to capture just over 50% of the vote in the latest returns, putting him less than a percentage point ahead.

Parrott conceded to Trone in a phone call Friday afternoon, both campaigns confirmed, closing out a race in which the wealthy Democrat had invested millions of his own money to counteract the newly competitive district lines.

“I want to thank Del. Parrott for his phone call this afternoon conceding the race,” Trone said in a tweet. “My promise to him, and to all of the people of the 6th District, is this: I’ll continue to work across the aisle to deliver results and get things done. Thank you, Maryland! Let’s get back to work.”

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Thousands of mail-in votes remain uncounted, but Trone has commanded the vote-by-mail margins, closing the gap on Parrott’s election night lead. Mail-in ballots tallied Thursday from rural, red Garrett, Allegany and Washington counties skewed in Trone’s favor. He has also dominated in the D.C. suburbs of Montgomery County and narrowly passed Parrott in Frederick County following a mail-in canvass Thursday. Of the mail-in ballots tallied across the district so far, Trone had won by a more than 3-to-1 margin.

When Trone first faced Parrott two years ago, the Democratic incumbent won with more breathing room, handily defeating his Republican challenger by almost 20 points. Since then, the 6th District has gotten significantly more conservative. Lawmakers redrew Maryland political lines, cutting off part of Montgomery County’s liberal Washington, D.C., suburbs and picking up territory in fast-growing Frederick County.

But Trone’s campaign has also benefitted from a massive financial advantage. The owner of the liquor chain Total Wine & More, Trone sank more than $12 million of his personal fortune into the race, building a $13 million war chest that Parrott never came close to touching. The House of Delegates member raised just under $800,000, according to mid-October campaign finance filings.

Coming out of election night, Parrott held a narrow lead, with preliminary returns putting him up by about 4,500 votes. He closed out Tuesday night telling supporters at his campaign office in Hagerstown that they had “a real chance to pull off a huge upset.”

In a statement Friday afternoon, Parrott conceded that the remaining vote-by-mail ballots were not going to break in his favor. But the Republican found consolation in the results of the court challenge he and other state legislators filed last year, which successfully overturned what he called an “extreme partisan gerrymander” and put the 6th District in play again.

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“While this wasn’t the outcome we wanted, it isn’t a defeat and it isn’t the end,” he said. “We unified the Republican Party in western Maryland. We faced an overwhelming spending disadvantage that scared off national Republicans. We fought — and won — in court so that this district is fair and competitive, and the people of the sixth district will never be taken for granted again.”

Candidate for U.S. Rep. Neil Parrott speaks with voter Marisol Manzo outside Deer Crossing Elementary School in Frederick on election night, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022.

Without North Potomac and other deep blue Montgomery County suburbs, the redrawn 6th turned from a comfortably Democratic district to suddenly competitive, even drawing a few marquee visitors in the final stretch of campaign season. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz stumped for Parrott at a late October event in Frederick, while President Joe Biden paid a visit earlier in the month, appearing alongside Trone for a speech on the economy at Volvo Group’s manufacturing plant in Hagerstown.

The 6th District’s more conservative boundaries exist thanks in part to Parrott himself, who was among a group of Republican state legislators who sued over an earlier version of the state’s political map last year. That map would have given Democrats a more comfortable advantage in the 6th, but it was thrown out when a judge sided with its Republican opponents.

Over the course of the campaign, Trone leaned into his record of reaching across the aisle, billing himself as “the most bipartisan” lawmaker in the Maryland delegation. The congressman lost a nephew to a fentanyl overdose several years ago, and the region’s opioid epidemic — as well as the culpability of big pharmaceutical companies — have also been central to his message.

Parrott, meanwhile, gave up his safe seat in the Maryland House of Delegates for a rematch with Trone. The traffic engineer has championed social conservative causes in more than a decade as a state legislator, leading signature drives to bring voter referendums on the legalization of same-sex marriage and in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants.

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On the campaign trail, he attacked Trone as a super wealthy interloper — the wine store magnate doesn’t live in the district and hasn’t during any of his time in Congress — and argued that the Democrat doesn’t advocated for the values of Western Maryland.

Trone’s victory extends Democratic dominance in the Maryland congressional delegation, where the party controlled seven seats coming into the midterm elections. The eighth seat, representing the 1st District on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, has been controlled for more than a decade by right-wing Republican Rep. Andy Harris, who glided to a seventh term on Tuesday.