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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/AP) – Rep. Steve Knight has conceded to Democrat newcomer Katie Hill after apparently losing a close race to hang on as the last Republican congressman in the nation’s most populous county.

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Knight told CBS2’s Randy Paige that he called Hill and conceded Wednesday afternoon, even though election officials have not certified her as the winner. Hill was leading by about 5,500 votes, or 52.2 percent, as of 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.

“The voters have spoken, and they want a new congressman — or a congresswoman, for this district,” Knight said. “We wish her the best.”

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Hill has never before held public office, while Knight’s family has been involved in local politics for decades — a high school is named after his father, a former legislator and test pilot.

However, Democrats hold a registration edge in the 25th District, which cuts through suburbs, horse ranches and high desert in northern Los Angeles County and a small slice of Ventura County.

Hill stressed her centrist politics: She’s a gun owner and her Republican father is a police officer who had never voted for a Democrat before her primary. Her mother, a Democrat, is a nurse.

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(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)