The Latest: U.S. Congressional elections

Published 10:21 pm Tuesday, November 8, 2016

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

11 p.m.

Attorney General Kamala Harris wins the open Senate seat to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer in race that featured two Democrats in California. Thanks to California’s unusual primary system, in which the two top finishers from the June primary advance to the general election, voters were deciding between Harris and Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez.

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The victory for 51-year-old Harris makes her the first Indian-American senator. Harris was backed by President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and other top Democrats.

Sanchez, a 10-term congresswoman, tried to consolidate support from Republicans and Latinos, but with little success.


11 p.m.

Democratic Sen. Patty Murray won a fifth term in the Senate, becoming one of the longest-serving senators in Washington state history.

Murray defeated Republican Chris Vance in the Democratic-leaning state on Tuesday.

Murray dismissed Vance’s criticism that she is responsible for congressional gridlock and the failure to address deficit spending and shore up Social Security and Medicare. She pointed to her work with Republicans on the budget and on education. In 2013, Murray teamed with GOP Rep. Paul Ryan, now the House speaker, to craft a national budget deal and worked with Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander on education reform.

She has steadily risen in power and is now part of the Senate’s Democratic leadership, with a chance to become the party’s No. 2 or 3 official next year. If Democrats take control of the Senate, Murray could chair the Appropriations Committee or health, education and labor.


11 p.m.

Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon has won a fourth full term.

Wyden has been in Congress since 1981, and has served in the Senate since 1996. He faced little-known Republican Mark Callahan, a former Democrat.

Wyden is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee and would become chairman if his party regains control of the chamber. Wyden briefly served as chairman in 2014. He also has served as chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.


11 p.m.

Republican Sen. Mike Crapo cruised to a fourth term in the ruby-red state of Idaho.

He was among Republicans whose support for Trump began to crumble after a recording emerged of Trump using vulgar terms to describe women and talking about how his fame allowed him to force himself on women.

Crapo first called on Trump to step down after that recording was disclosed but then reversed course and said he would vote for the GOP’s presidential nominee.

Crapo was opposed by Democrat Jerry Sturgill, a lawyer and managing director of a financial firm.


11 p.m.

Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz won re-election in Hawaii, defeating Republican John Carroll in heavily Democratic Hawaii to earn his first full term in the Senate.

Schatz was appointed to replace the late Sen. Daniel Inouye in December 2012 and won election to the remainder of his term in 2014.

Schatz is one of the most liberal members of the Senate, pushing legislation to reduce use of fossil fuels blamed for global warming and helping lead an all-night Senate “talkathon” on the dangers of climate change.

Schatz has said he wants to make clean energy the same priority in Washington as it is in Hawaii. The state leads the nation in initiatives to become energy independent by 2045


10:47 p.m.

Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado has won re-election against a tea party-aligned opponent, conservative Darryl Glenn.

At the campaign’s start, Bennet was considered one of the most vulnerable Democratic senators in this cycle. GOP leaders criticized Bennet’s support for President Barack Obama’s deal to ease economic sanctions against Iran and his support for Obama’s proposal to close the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba.

But the Republican field was a crowded one, and of the five candidates who made the GOP primary, none had previously held statewide office.


10:46 p.m.

Eight years after losing his bid for president, five-term GOP Sen. John McCain turned away a determined challenge from Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick.

McCain publicly struggled with whether to support GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, who called McCain a loser and criticized him for being captured during the Vietnam War.

The 80-year-old McCain reluctantly stood by Trump for months despite the personal insults, but ended his tepid support last month after the release of a 2005 recording in which Trump used crude, predatory language to boast about groping women.

McCain said Trump’s behavior and “demeaning comments about women” made it impossible to support him.

The decision angered some Republicans, who routinely boo when Trump mentions McCain’s name.


10:34 p.m.

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin denies press reports that he’s considering switching political parties.

He calls himself a born-in-the-wool West Virginia Democrat. He tells The Associated Press the reports are wrong.

Manchin is the senior senator from West Virginia. He previously served as governor in the state. In November 2010, he won a special election to fill the seat once held by Robert Byrd, the longest-serving senator in U.S. history until his death.


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.

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.