The Latest: Republicans Grassley and Lee win Senate races

Published 9:17 pm Tuesday, November 8, 2016

WASHINGTON — The Latest on congressional races on Election Day 2016 (all times EST):

10:11 p.m.

Incumbent Republican Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina has turned away a strong challenge from former state Rep. Deborah Ross. It was one of the nation’s most closely watched Senate races as Democrats sought to regain control of the upper chamber on Tuesday.

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The 60-year-old Burr has been in Congress since 1994. Ross is a lawyer and former state director of the ACLU who energized Democrats and hoped to score an upset.

Burr was forced to apologize recently after saying he was surprised that a gun magazine with a photo of Hillary Clinton on the cover hadn’t put a bull’s-eye over her face. Ross had called the comments “dangerous and irresponsible.”

10 p.m.

Republican Charles Grassley of Iowa won a seventh Senate term and retained a seat his party has held for six decades.

Democrats had been optimistic that their candidate, Patty Judge, could break that winning streak on Tuesday, given her previous elections to statewide office as agriculture secretary and lieutenant governor.

Grassley chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee. He’s sought to tamp down talk among Republicans about blocking nominees to the Supreme Court if Hillary Clinton becomes president.

Grassley said Republicans “can’t just simply stonewall” nominees to the high court, reaffirming the Senate’s traditional advise-and-consent role on judicial picks.

The court has had a vacancy for months since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February.


10 p.m.

Utah’s junior senator, Republican Mike Lee, has sailed through his first re-election battle.

Lee is a popular conservative in a state that hasn’t elected a Democratic senator in four decades. He was first elected in 2010, propelled by a swell of tea-party voters who helped him oust longtime Republican Sen. Bob Bennett.

Lee earned national attention for his sharp criticism of GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump. Even so, Lee has been floated as a possible Supreme Court pick by Trump. An ally of Texas Sen Ted Cruz, Lee helped spearhead an unsuccessful fight to derail President Barack Obama’s health care law that led to the 2013 government shutdown.

Lee was challenged in Tuesday’s election by Misty Snow, 31-year-old a transgender woman and grocery store clerk who says she ran because millennial and progressive voices weren’t being heard.


9:55 p.m.

Just moments after securing a fourth term in the U.S. Senate Chuck Schumer began looking forward to gaining even more clout. But he promised Tuesday not to ignore New York.

He told a crowd that even as he’s on the cusp of becoming the majority leader in the Senate, “I’ll be working for New York as ever because I love New York and it’s in my bones.”

He also fired up the crowd for Democrat Hillary Clinton. She won the state of New York and its 29 electoral votes.


9:33 p.m.

Twelve-term Republican Rep. John Mica has been bested by Democrat Stephanie Murphy in a district that has gained more Democratic voters in recent years.

Mica hadn’t had a strong Democratic opponent since being elected in 1992. But redrawn congressional maps made his central Florida district more competitive, and Democrats pumped money into the race.

Going into Tuesday’s election, Republicans held a 247-188 advantage in the House of Representatives, including three vacancies. Democrats need a net gain of 30 seats to capture control of the House.


9:19 p.m.

Georgia Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson has won a third term against Democrat Jim Barksdale and Libertarian Allen Buckley.

Isakson, a conservative, has criticized some of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s remarks while saying he will support the GOP ticket.

Barksdale, who owns an Atlanta investment firm, gave $3.5 million toward his first political campaign, but struggled to gain momentum against Isakson, the state’s senior senator and chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.

Buckley’s presence on the ballot complicated the race. Under state law, Isakson needed at least 50 percent of the vote Tuesday to avoid a January runoff election.


9:10 p.m.

Arkansas Republican Sen. John Boozman has won a second term, fending off a challenge by Democrat Conner Eldridge, a former federal prosecutor.

Boozman served five terms in the House before winning a Senate seat in 2010. He campaigned as someone who puts Arkansas first, while Eldridge touted his work prosecuting a county judge for corruption.

Eldridge trailed Boozman in fundraising and faced an uphill challenge in Arkansas, where Republicans hold all statewide and federal offices.


9:05 p.m.

Former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist appears to have revived his political career as a Democrat, winning a House seat against an incumbent Republican who distanced himself from the GOP.

Crist, 60, defeated Rep. David Jolly, who has represented Florida’s 13th Congressional District since 2014 but who has set himself apart from many Republicans this election season by speaking out about campaign fundraising and refusing to endorse GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Crist, who was governor from 2007 to 2011, ran for Senate as a Republican in 2010, but dropped out of the GOP primary when Marco Rubio passed him in the polls. He ran as an independent and lost in the general election. Crist later became a Democrat and ran unsuccessfully for governor against Republican Rick Scott in 2014.


9:02 p.m.

Illinois Democrat Tammy Duckworth has unseated first-term Republican Sen. Mark Kirk in one of the most closely watched Senate races in the country. Duckworth, a double amputee who lost both legs in the Iraq war, has served two terms in the House.

Kirk, who suffered a stroke in 2012, was considered one of the Senate’s most vulnerable Republicans and was targeted early by Democrats seeking to retake control of the chamber.

Kirk worked for months to convince voters that he’s independent of his party by criticizing GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump. But Kirk hurt his own campaign with a series of controversial statements. He had to apologize to Duckworth last month after mocking her immigrant background and her family’s military history.

Duckworth, 48, will be the second Illinois woman to serve in the Senate.


9 p.m.

The top Democrat in the Senate, New York’s Chuck Schumer, easily beat back a challengeTuesday from Republican attorney Wendy Long to secure a fourth term.

Schumer is a hard-driving lawmaker who rarely shies away from publicity. His mix of partisanship and pragmatism will be tested in a closely divided Senate working with a new president.

Schumer can count supporters in both parties who say the 65-year-old has practical tendencies that will serve him well navigating thorny issues and working across the aisle.


9 p.m.

South Dakota Sen. John Thune, the No. 3 Republican in the Senate, won a second term during a campaign when he wavered repeatedly in his support of the GOP presidential candidate leading the ticket.

He was among a handful who urged Trump to step aside to allow vice presidential nominee Mike Pence to run at the top of the ticket. He also criticized Trump’s refusal to say if he would accept the results of the election. Still, despite his criticism, he said he would vote for Trump.


9 p.m.

North Dakota Republican Sen. John Hoeven won a second term against former Democratic state Sen. Eliot Glassheim, who entered the race at the last minute and struggled to raise money.

Hoeven, 59, a former three-term governor, easily won the Senate seat in 2010. He has focused on energy issues in the Senate.


9 p.m.

Kansas Republican Sen. Jerry Moran has won a second Senate term after serving seven terms in the House. Moran easily fended off a challenge from Democrat Patrick Wiesner, an attorney and certified public accountant.

Moran raised more than $4.1 million through mid-October while Wiesner received less than $14,000 in contributions.

Kansas hasn’t elected a Democrat to the Senate since 1932.


8:29 p.m.

Indiana Republican Rep. Todd Young has defeated former Sen. Evan Bayh in a Senate race that could be crucial to determining party control. The seat is now held by Republican Sen. Dan Coats, who is retiring.

An onslaught of stories about whether Bayh really lived in Indiana and his extended job search in his final year in office undercut his candidacy.

National groups have poured tens of millions of dollars into the Senate race, one of a half dozen nationally that could determine whether Democrats take over the Senate majority.

Young, a three-term congressman from southern Indiana, doesn’t have the name recognition of Bayh, whose father, Birch Bayh, was a senator for 18 years. But Young ran a strong race and was supported by outside groups.


8:28 p.m.

Alabama’s veteran Republican Sen. Richard Shelby has easily won a sixth term against a Democratic challenger who advocated legalizing medicinal marijuana in this conservative state.

Shelby, 82, is a one-time Democrat who has one of the most consistent records of voting against President Barack Obama in Congress. He has supported the Republican ticket, including Donald Trump.

Shelby easily won the money race: He raised nearly $10 million as of June 30 to less than $4,000 for opponent Ron Crumpton,


8:05 p.m.

Marco Rubio failed in his bid to end up in the White House, but he’s still going back to Washington. Florida voters elected him to a second term in the Senate on Tuesday.

He had wavered for months before deciding to run for re-election. He beat back a challenge from Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy, who has repeatedly tried to link Rubio to Donald Trump.

The two Senate candidates differed starkly on a number of issues — including guns, health care, foreign policy, economic issues and abortion. Each sought to leverage voter discontent with both the GOP and Democratic nominees.

Rubio held onto had a narrow lead in polling going into Election Day over Murphy, who was abandoned by his own party after Democratic bosses decided to pull ad money from expensive Florida and invest it in Missouri, North Carolina and Indiana, instead.


8 p.m.

Longtime Maryland Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen won a promotion to the upper chamber, winning election to replace popular Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski, who is retiring after 30 years in the Senate.

Van Hollen, a seven-term Democrat, defeated Republican Kathy Szeliga, minority whip in the state House of Delegates.

Van Hollen, 57, ran as an experienced lawmaker willing to reach across the political aisle to do important work. A key lieutenant to House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Van Hollen has focused on budget issues and foreign policy. Szeliga worked to use that experience against him, trying to cast him as an insider of dysfunctional Washington.