Smith concedes in 2nd District congressional race

Challenger Bryan Smith conceded defeat minutes ago in the 2nd District congressional race.

As of 10:15 p.m., Smith trailed incumbent GOP Rep. Mike Simpson by a wide margin. Simpson had received 11,659 votes or 62.3 percent to Smith’s 7,059 or 37.7 percent.

The Primary contest garnered nationwide attention as a showdown between the traditional, business-oriented wing of the Republican Party and hard-line conservatives.

That attention brought a slew of negative advertising to the state, largely funded by out-of-state groups.

Smith gained the backing of ultraconservative political action committees such as the Club for Growth and the Senate Conservatives Fund, who funded ads characterizing Simpson as a liberal.

Business lobbies such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce shot back, funding ads defending Simpson and attacking Smith’s debt collection businesses. Simpson also won the endorsement of the National Rifle Association.