Longtime Southeast Side Ald. John Pope conceded Tuesday to his opponent, Susan Sadlowski Garza, a political newcomer who beat the Mayor Rahm Emanuel-backed alderman by just 20 votes in last month’s runoff election.

The 10th Ward alderman decided to drop his claim for a recount after examining vote tallies, he said in a statement.

“It has been an honor and privilege to serve as the 10th Ward Alderman since 1999. Working with my neighbors in the 10th Ward we have accomplished much but the work never ends,” Pope said. “I will continue to work with the community to advance the greater good and I wish the Alderman-elect the best of luck during her first term.”

Garza, 55, a Chicago Public Schools counselor at Jane Addams Elementary and a member of the Chicago Teachers Union, was critical of Mayor Emanuel’s school closing plan and walked the picket lines during the 2012 teachers strike. She’s also the daughter of Steelworkers union leader Ed Sadlowski. Her husband, Raul Garza, is a city ironworker.

Pope, 47, was an assistant to former Mayor Richard M. Daley before he was elected to office in 1999.

The Pope vs. Garza contest was just one of 18 aldermanic runoffs on April 7.