After widening her lead in the final round of ballot counting Wednesday, Rep. Louise Slaughter now has the votes she needs to retain her seat in the U.S. House of Representatives for New York’s 25th congressional district for a 15th term. After an additional 2,800 ballots were tallied Wednesday, Slaughter’s lead over Republican challenger Mark Assini grew to 869, and Assini called her on Wednesday afternoon to concede the race and congratulate her. Slaughter, a microbiologist who gives great weight to food safety issues and is an avid defender of medically important antibiotics, has served in the House of Representatives since 1987. Assini has been the Town Supervisor for Gates, NY, since 2010. “It’s gratifying to be re-elected for another term so that I can continue fighting for the community I love and am honored to represent,” Slaughter said in a statement declaring victory on Nov. 5 after the majority of absentee ballots had been counted. “Like I said during this campaign, Washington might not be working, but I sure am, and I’m glad to continue that work.” Since her first election in 1986 when she won by 5 percent of the vote, Slaughter has enjoyed double-digit leads. This year, her win by just under half a percent of the vote was unexpectedly close.