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McConnell Defeats Grimes in Bid for U.S. Senate

Sen. Mitch McConnell has been reelected and is closing in on his goal of becoming the majority leader of the U.S. Senate.

McConnell defeated Secretary of State Allison Lundergan Grimes quickly, with the Associated Press calling the race for McConnell at about 7 p.m., just as polls closed in the western part of the state.

“Secretary Grimes ran a spirited campaign, she won a lot of votes and she won my respect,” McConnell said during his victory speech Tuesday night.  “This was certainly a hard fought contest.”

Related: WFPL's election night live blog

This means Sen. McConnell will serve as U.S. Senator for six more years.  He was first elected as senator in 1985.

In his victory speech at the Marriott East in Louisville, Sen. McConnell made a pledge to constituents that their voice would "be heard in Washington."

"Too many in Washington have forgotten that their job is to serve," McConnell said.  "Tomorrow the papers will say that I’ve won this race, but the truth is tonight we begin another one, one that is far more important than mine and that is the race to turn this country around." 

Meanwhile, at the Grimes event in Lexington, the mood remained upbeat as news of McConnell's victory trickled in.

"While tonight didn't bring us the result that we had hoped for, this journey, the fight for you, it was worth it," Grimes told the crowd. "I will continue to fight for the Commonwealth of Kentucky each and every day."

Jacob Ryan joined LPM in 2014. Ryan is originally from Eddyville, Kentucky. Email Jacob at jryan@lpm.org.