WINSTON-SALEM The U.S. Senate race between incumbent Sen. Richard Burr and Democratic challenger Deborah Ross gained national attention due to close polls and the possibility that Democrats could win back the Senate.In the end, Burr won a third and he says final term. The win makes him only the third senator from N.C. to hold that seat for more than two terms, putting him in the category of Jesse Helms and Sam Ervin.”I’m also reminded with this special privilege tonight that only two senators, being elected, not appointed, in North Carolina’s history will have served longer than I will,” Burr said to about 300 people at Forsyth Country Club for the senator’s watch party.Before the watch party, Burr spokesman Jesse Hunt said he felt positive about a Burr win, with Republican turnout up by 20 percent.”The enthusiasm has been on our side and we expect that to carry over into the evening,” Hunt said.Burr held more than a five-point edge over Ross, the former head of the North Carolina ACLU. He won with 51 percent of the vote, compared to Ross’ 45 percent.Ross posted on her campaign’s Facebook, thanking supporters for their help.”The results are in,” she stated. “It’s not the ending we hoped for, but I have zero regrets. It was the highest honor of my lifetime to run for North Carolina’s United States Senator and garner the support of millions of citizens. We defied a lot of expectations to get this far, and I know I would not be here tonight without your support. For more than a year, you generously gave your time, your signatures, your dollars, and your unwavering belief in our future.”Burr was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2004, and prior to that he represented North Carolina’s 5th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives.Burr thanked his wife, Brooke, and noted Tuesday’s win was “as much your victory as it is mine.”Burr’s seat was among those eyed by Democrats as they tried to flip control of Congress. In the end, they were unsuccessful as N.C. voters gave Burr one of the wider victories of the night. Overall, Republicans maintained control of both chambers of Congress, with Democrats making narrow gains by winning a handful of new seats in the House.In the Senate, they seemed to secure at least 48 seats, up from 46 on Wednesday when the New Hampshire secretary of state called a close race for New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan, a Democrat, over incumbent Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte, although Ayotte had not conceded.N.C. voters also sent all their U.S. House members back to D.C., keeping a GOP majority in tact, 10 to 3, which includes electing political newcomer Republican Ted Budd in the newly-drawn District 13.
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