ALBANY, N.Y. (AP / WCBS 880) — The Republican challenger on Wednesday conceded to Democratic U.S. Rep. Tim Bishop in a congressional race in eastern Long Island, the nation’s only undecided House contest.

WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reports

Randy Altschuler decided against forcing a hand recount in the 1st Congressional District, spokesman Rob Ryan said. Bishop last had a 263-vote lead with 977 absentee ballots left to be counted out of the more than 194,000 votes cast.

“I don’t think it was going to be possible mathematically for us to be victorious,” Altschuler told 1010 WINS. “It was the right thing to do, not to prolong it further.”

“After consulting with my family and campaign staff, I am ending my campaign and offering congratulations to Congressman Tim Bishop on his victory,” Altschuler said.

He said that despite support for a hand recount, “I will not support such an action as I feel its cost will place an unnecessary burden on the taxpayers of Suffolk County.”

Bishop, who was first elected in 2002, told reporters on a conference call that he was grateful to “withstand a Category 5 storm against incumbents.” But he acknowledged he would have less influence in Congress going forward as a member of the minority party.

Republicans swept to a majority in the House on Nov. 2, picking up a total of 63 House seats, including six in New York.

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