Republican challenger Dan Bongino has conceded the race for Maryland’s sixth Congressional district to Democratic incumbent John Delaney.

Bongino, a former Secret Service agent, ran a spirited campaign to unseat the freshman Congressman, garnering 48 percent of the vote in a district widely considered to be the most politically mixed in the state.

He beat Delaney on Election Day and in the absentee ballots counted so far, but early voting totals put the Democrat on top by a percentage point. Bongino congratulated the incumbent and Maryland governor-elect Larry Hogan.

“After a hard-fought race, it is now time to move on and allow the citizens of Maryland to be heard,” Bongino said in an e-mailed statement. “Although there are still some outstanding votes, it is clear that Congressman Delaney will emerge the victor.”

On Friday, Delaney released a statement, saying, “I am truly honored to have been re-elected and look forward to getting back to work representing Marylanders from Grantsville to Gaithersburg in the House.”

Delaney, a businessman and one of the wealthiest members of the House of Representatives, will be entering his second term in office.

Delaney also congratulated Bongino “on a vigorous campaign.”

“He [Bongino] has dedicated much of his life to serving his country and in our many times running into one another on the campaign trail, he was always a complete gentleman ready with a warm handshake,” Delaney said. “We don’t agree on how to get there, but Mr. Bongino and I want many of the same things for our country.”

Bongino said he was grateful to Delaney for his concern for his opponent’s family during the grueling campaign schedule that took the Republican across the district which comprises parts of Montgomery County and the Western Maryland counties.

According to the statement, Delaney sent Bongino a note a few months ago, after Bongino told the congressman about some health problems Bongino’s wife was having that had been compounded by the stress of the campaign.

“It reminded me that although our wonderful country is currently marked by passionate political differences, these differences should never become personal,” Bongino said.