Republican Martha McSally beat Democratic incumbent Rep. Ron Barber (D-AZ) on Wednesday after an election recount confirmed the GOP’er had a 167 vote edge over Barber.
According to the AP, the GOP will now have the largest majority ever, with 247 seats, which has not been seen since the 1929-31 term, when Republicans held 270 seats during President Herbert Hoover’s administration.
The McSally-Barber race was declared 43 days after the November 4 election, and the recount was triggered because the margin between the two candidates after December 1 certification and canvass was less than 200 votes.
According to Arizona Public Media, McSally has already gone through congressional freshman orientation sessions and met with Republican Party leaders. This is McSally’s second freshman orientation. The retired Air Force colonel and fighter pilot, APM reports, went through the orientation two years ago when the outcome of her 2012 race against Barber was still undetermined. She lost to Barber by a 2,400 vote margin.
McSally was the first woman to serve as a combat pilot, as well as the first woman to command a fighter unit, the 354th Fighter Squadron of A-10s at Tucson’s Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.
In 2001, she won a lawsuit against the Pentagon that ended the requirement for U.S. servicewomen to wear traditional Islamic clothing when off base in Saudi Arabia.