"Representing the Central Valley in Congress has been the honor of a lifetime," Valadao said in a statement. "... There is no doubt we are disappointed in the results, but we can take pride in knowing that we brought about real, tangible change ... Despite the outcome in this election, we must remain deliberate in our efforts to improve our community. There is always work to be completed and I can't wait to see what else our community can accomplish."
Cox, who trailed Valadao in the vote count until Nov. 26, led the incumbent by 862 votes out of more than 113,000 cast as of Thursday. His victory means Democrats have picked up seven House seats from the GOP in California and will begin the new session with a 46-7 advantage in the state's congressional delegation.
In all, Democrats now have 235 House seats, a net gain of 40 from the previous Congress. Republicans have 199 seats, pending the outcome of a disputed race in North Carolina's 9th Congressional District.